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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 #329410

Title: Combination of methoprene and controlled aeration to manage insects in stored wheat

item LIU, SAMUEL - Oklahoma State University
item Arthur, Franklin
item VANGUNDYE, DOUGLAS - Central Life Sciences
item PHILLIPS, THOMAS - Kansas State University

Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/9/2016
Publication Date: 6/17/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Liu, S.S., Arthur, F.H., Vangundye, D., Phillips, T.W. 2016. Combination of methoprene and controlled aeration to manage insects in stored wheat. Insects. 7(25):1-12. doi:10.3390/insects7020025.

Interpretive Summary: Wheat is harvested and stored in early summer in the United States, and during the warm summer and fall months it is vulnerable to infestation from stored product insects. Aeration, using ambient air to cool the grain mass, is a part of management programs for stored grains, but high summer temperatures in the central and southern plains may limit the use of this strategy. We conducted a simulated field study by introducing different stored product insects into bins containing wheat, and comparing different combinations of aeration with the insect growth regulator methoprene to suppress the populations during a 12-month storage period. Just using aeration alone did not give complete population suppression during storage, a combination of methoprene and aeration was required for effective control. The best control was treating the entire grain mass combined with aeration. Grain managers can utilize the results of this study to improve insect pest management plans for stored wheat by integrating a combination of aeration along with grain protectant insecticides for more effective long-term protection of stored wheat.

Technical Abstract: The insect growth regulator methoprene, in the commercial formulation Diacon II®, was applied to wheat stored in small bins either alone or in combination with controlled aeration of the bins to lower grain temperature for insect pest management of stored wheat. Grain temperatures and monitored and modified by a computer-controlled thermocouple system that also activated the aeration system at programmed set-points to move cool ambient air through the grain mass to lower grain temperature. Results from sampling insect populations in experimental storage bins along with laboratory mortality bioassays of insects placed on wheat taken from the bins over the course of the storage period showed that methoprene was very effective in controlling infestation by the externally-feeding stored grain insects Plodia interpunctella (Hübner), the Indian meal moth Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), the red flour beetle, Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens), the rusty grain beetle, and also for the internal-feeding pest Rhyzopertha dominica( Fauvel), the lesser grain borer. Methoprene did not give good control of the internal-feeding pest Sitophilus oryzae (L.), the rice weevil. Aeration alone was somewhat effective in suppressing insect population development, while methoprene alone or when combined with aeration greatly enhanced insect control. Commercial grain grading for industry quality standards at the end of the storage period confirmed the impact of insect suppression on maintaining of high quality of the stored wheat. This field experiment shows that methoprene combined with aeration to cool grain can be effective for pest management of stored wheat in the southern plains of the United States of America (USA).