Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2007
Publication Date: 6/30/2007
Citation: Tang, J., Wang, S., Johnson, J.A. 2007. Biology and Thermal Death Kinetics of Selected Insects. Heat Treatments for Postharvest Pestcontrol: Theory and Practice: CABI Pub. p.133-161. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Heat treatments have been suggested as alternatives to fumigation for a variety of postharvest applications. This paper describes the general biology of several economically important insect pests in the international trade of agricultural commodities and presents fundamental thermal death kinetics data for those insects. Thermal death kinetic data obtained from reliable experimental methods reveal useful information about the lethal effect of heat to insects at different life stages and as influenced by pretreatment conditions. Thermal kinetics data based on laboratory experiments is helpful in providing insights into fundamental thermal death behaviors of insect pests. Care must be taken with using this information to develop treatment protocols. Unanticipated problems may occur when one extrapolates kinetic information based on small experimental populations to large insect populations used to validate commercial treatments. In addition, heat tolerance of laboratory reared insects used to develop the kinetics models may be different from those that infest the commodities. Unexpected pre-treatment conditions may also significantly increase thermal resistance of the insects infesting the agricultural commodities. Thermal death kinetic data that truly reflect the intrinsic heat tolerance of insects as described in this paper are rare and limited to only a small group of species. More research is needed to obtain real thermal death kinetic data that are not confounded with the influence of non-isothermal test conditions.