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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Campbell, James - Jim
item Mullen, Michael

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/26/2004
Publication Date: 8/31/2004
Citation: Campbell, J.F., Mullen, M.A. 2004. Distribution and dispersal behavior of Trogoderma variabile and Plodia interpunctella outside a food processing plant. Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 1455-1464.

Interpretive Summary: Immigration of stored-product insects into food processing and warehouse facilities is potentially an important contributor to pest infestation and resurgence after treatment, but these outside populations are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to determine the distribution and flight distances of the warehouse beetle and Indian meal moth adult males outside a food processing facility and the level of immigration and emigration at a food warehouse. Both species were captured in higher numbers outside than inside the food facility, but they differed in their spatial distribution around the facility. Both species were found to be highly mobile, and the capability of warehouse beetles to emigrate into a warehouse was demonstrated. The results of this research are important because they illustrate an important mechanism for pest population resurgence after treatment and the potential effectiveness of pest exclusion as a management tool. Outdoor monitoring for stored-product pests is not currently widely performed, but our results show the importance of this information for evaluating infestation pressure at a food facility.

Technical Abstract: The distribution and dispersal distances of insects outside of food processing and storage facilities potentially have an important influence on the population dynamics and spatial distribution of insects inside facilities. In this study, Trogoderma variabile Ballion and Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) sex pheromone baited trap captures outside and inside a food processing facility were measured, the relationship between trap captures outside and inside the facility was evaluated, and the dispersal ability of the males of these species was assessed using self-mark/recapture stations. Trogoderma variabile and Plodia interpunctella males were captured in higher numbers outside than inside the food facility. The two species differed in their spatial distribution around the facility, with T. variabile being more closely associated with the proximity of the building, but most likely originating from sources outside the building. For marked T. variabile, the average recapture distance was 75 m (range 21-508 m) and for marked P. interpunctella the average recapture distance was 135.6 m (range 21-276 m). In an immigration/emigration experiment, three T. variabile marked outside were recaptured inside, but no T. variabile marked inside were recaptured outside and no marked P. interpunctella were recaptured in either location. The potential for outside populations to influence inside populations has implications for the effectiveness of different management and monitoring tools.

Last Modified: 07/27/2017
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