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Title: Evaluation of catmint oil and hydrogenated catmint oil as repellents for Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum

item Arthur, Franklin
item Fontenot, Emily
item Campbell, James - Jim

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2010
Publication Date: 11/4/2011
Citation: Arthur, F.H., Fontenot, E.A., Campbell, J.F. 2011. Evaluation of catmint oil and hydrogenated catmint oil as repellents for Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum. Journal of Insect Science. 11:128, available online:

Interpretive Summary: Repellents are used to keep insect pest management programs for some insect species from infesting commodities, but there are few repellents that can be used for stored- product insects. We evaluated two types of oils made from catmint plants as repellents for the red flour beetle and the confused flour beetle, two important pests of stored products. We used visual assessments and video recordings to evaluate the reactions of the beetles to the repellents. Simple visual assessments were inconclusive, but the video recordings showed that both oil products were more repellent to the red flour beetle than to the confused flour beetle. Red flour beetles avoided the area that was treated with the oils. The results show that the catmint oil products are effective as repellents for the red flour beetle.

Technical Abstract: Catmint oil and hydrogenated catmint oil were evaluated as repellents for adult Tribolium casteneum (Herbst), the red flour beetle, and T. confusum (Jacqueline DuVal), the confused flour beetle, using both a traditional method of visual assessment of distribution and a video recording method to determine movement patterns of individual insects. Visual assessments of distribution using groups of adults showed that the hydrogenated catmint oil was more effective than the pure catmint oil, but there was no significant difference (P = 0.05) between species. However, when repellency was measured using single insects and the visual recording system, both oils were more repellent to T. castaneum than T. confusum at the concentrations evaluated in the study. Avoidance movement and change in direction when T. castaneum encountered the repellent were observed. Results indicate that repellents may be more accurately assessed using single insects rather than groups of individuals, and simple visual observations of distribution may be less sensitive in measuring repellent efficacy. Procedures for utilizing a video system are described as models for future evaluations of repellents for stored-product beetles.