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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Arbogast, Richard

Submitted to: Entomological News
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/21/2005
Publication Date: 9/15/2005
Citation: Arbogast, R.T. 2005. Seasonal flight activity of stored-product moths(lepidoptera:pyralidae, gelechiidae) in south carolina. Entomological News. 116(4): 197-208.

Interpretive Summary: Protection of grain and cereal products against damage and contamination by insects during storage, processing, and marketing has relied heavily on routine application of chemical insecticides. However, increasing concern about the health and environmental hazards of insecticide application, has made it necessary to seek new pest control methods that minimize chemical risk. These new methods will rely as much as possible on natural control agents such as weather and natural enemies, but will also employ a variety of biological, physical, and chemical control measures. Development of such methods will require an intimate knowledge of natural factors and their influence on the distribution and abundance of insect pests. Scientists at the Center for Agricultural, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, ARS, USDA, Gainesville, Florida, have established information on the seasonal flight activity of three major moth pests of stored grain. Moths flying outside storage bins are a source of re-infestation when an old crop is removed from a bin and a new crop stored. Information on pest flight activity will be useful to researchers in developing new control methods that exploit natural factors and minimize pesticide application, and will also assist farmers and grain elevator operators in predicting insect problems and timing application of control measures.

Technical Abstract: There is currently little information available on the flight activity of stored-product moths outside farm bins during grain storage and inside empty bins after removal of the grain. The flight activity of three species B Plodia interpunctella (Hübner), Cadra cautella (Walker), and Sitotroga cerealella (Olivier) B was monitored on two farms in southern South Carolina by means of pheromone baited sticky traps. Plodia accounted for most captures by far, followed by Cadra and Sitotroga. Various moths other than stored-product species were also captured. Overall, flight activity was highest in the spring with the highest peaks of Plodia activity in late March to early April on one farm and in mid April on the other. Flight activity continued through the summer, but at a lower level, and there was little activity during the winter. We did not trap during the fall. Plodia was abundant in empty storage bins during the brief period between crops in late summer, but Cadra and Sitotroga were found in smaller numbers. Air temperature clearly had an impact on flight activity, but seasonal affects other than the direct impact of temperature, such as the influence of temperature on population growth and decline, must also influence flight activity.

Last Modified: 10/15/2017
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