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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328611

Title: Methoprene and control of stored-product insects

item WIJAYARATNE, LK - University Of Manitoba
item Arthur, Franklin
item WHYARD, S - University Of Manitoba

Submitted to: Journal of Stored Products Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/9/2016
Publication Date: 3/1/2018
Citation: Wijayaratne, L.W., Arthur, F.H., Whyard, S. 2018. Methoprene and control of stored-product insects. Journal of Stored Products Research. 76:161-169.

Interpretive Summary: Methoprene is an insecticide that mimics a natural growth hormone in insects, and disrupts development of immature life stages. It is currently used in many systems for the control of insects, including use in stored-product entomology as a direct treatment to raw grains, as a contact surface treatment, and as an aerosol in conjunction with pyrethrins or pyrethroids. In this review we discuss the historical development of methoprene as an insecticide, adaptation for stored-product insects, and current uses as a reduced-risk management strategy to help control stored-product insects. This summarization will enable users to develop a comprehensive database of published research on methoprene, and how it could be utilized in specific management programs.

Technical Abstract: Estimated direct and indirect losses of grains and grain-based products caused by stored-product insects range from about 10% in temperate regions to almost 50% in humid tropical areas. Pest management strategies in bulk grains include the use of fumigants such as phosphine and sulfuryl fluoride, and grain protectants, which are sprayed directly on commodities as they are loaded into storage. Fumigants, aerosols, and contact sprays are also used as structural treatments in mills, processing plants, and food warehouses. Some older organophosphate protectants and contact sprays have been phased out world-wide and have been replaced by safer insecticides, including pyrethroids and insect growth regulators (IGRs). These IGRs include juvenile hormone analogues (JHAs), ecdysteroids and chitin synthesis inhibitors, and are considered safe due to their insect specificity. Methoprene is the JHA that has been used most extensively in stored-product pest management. The formulations of methoprene originally introduced into the stored-product market in the 1980s contained the racemic mixture with both R and S- forms, but now only the purified S-methoprene isomer is used. Methoprene has received broad attention and has been tested for its direct lethal effects, but many recent studies focus more on sub-lethal effects. Although methoprene has been used for more than four decades, there has not been a synopsis or review of this IGR. This review addresses the history of methoprene with special emphasis on stored-product protection.