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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 #341603

Research Project: Sustainable Management Strategies for Stored-Product Insects

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Title: Fecundity of Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum adults after exposure to deltamethrin packaging

item Scheff, Deanna
item Arthur, Franklin

Submitted to: Journal of Pest Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/13/2017
Publication Date: 10/26/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Scheff, D.S., Arthur, F.H. 2017. Fecundity of Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum adults after exposure to deltamethrin packaging. Journal of Pest Science. 91(2):717-725.

Interpretive Summary: The red flour beetle and confused flour beetle are serious pests of stored products worldwide and both beetles have been documented as invading packaged food products through packaging defects. Incorporating the insecticide deltamethrin within a polypropylene bag material, presents a novel technological approach to managing infestations of packaged food products. After exposure of adult male and female beetles of both species to deltamethrin incorporated packaging material it was found that short exposure periods, < 48 h, of red flour beetle male and female adults had little effect on the total number of progeny produced. However, when both sexes were exposed to deltamethrin packaging material for =48 h, there were no progeny produced. The same effect was observed for male and female confused flour beetles exposed to deltamethrin incorporated packaging, but it took 168 h of exposure to achieve the same results. These results indicate that the red flour beetle is more susceptible to the effects of the deltamethrin incorporated packaging material. The significant differences in the number of progeny produced by both species can be attributed to parental mortality, rather than to a loss of fecundity. Incorporating deltamethrin into packaging materials could be a valuable tool to reduce stored product infestations of food products, in combination with other pest management practices.

Technical Abstract: The red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), and the confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val, are packaging invaders and will exploit any rip, tear, or defect in packaged food and infest the contents. Impregnating packaging materials with insecticides is a novel technological approach that is gaining interest as a preventative measure to deter packaging infestations. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effect of deltamethrin impregnated packages on T. castaneum and T. confusum adult fecundity. Treatment arenas consisted of deltamethrin impregnated packaging at a concentration of 3000 ppm, secured to ~62 cm2 plastic Petri dishes. Ten male or ten female adults of either species were exposed to treated or untreated packaging for time intervals ranging from 0.67 to 168 h. Males and females were then cross-mated, which consisted of: one exposed male paired with one exposed female; exposed male with unexposed female; unexposed male with exposed female; unexposed male with unexposed female. Pairs were held in 7-dram vials for 7 d, removed, and the held for emergence of F1 adults. There were no progeny when mating pairs of T. castaneum male were exposed for >48 h, while 168 h of exposure was necessary to prevent progeny production of T. confusum mated pairs. T. castaneum was more susceptible to deltamethrin-impregnated packaging compared to T. confusum. This study showed adult beetles can recover from knockdown, and mating and oviposition will occur once removed from exposure. However, longer exposure periods were prevented reproduction and were lethal to exposed adults.