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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 #366499

Research Project: Sustainable Management Strategies for Stored-Product Insects

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Title: Efficacy of phosphine to different life stages of Trogoderma inclusum and Dermestes maculatus

item ATHANASSIOU, CHRISTOS - University Of Thessaly
item PHILLIPS, THOMAS - Kansas State University
item Arthur, Franklin
item AIKENS, JAMIE - Kansas State University
item AGRAFIOTI, VIVI - University Of Thessaly
item HARTZER, KRIS - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) - United States

Submitted to: Journal of Stored Products Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/14/2019
Publication Date: 1/30/2020
Citation: Athanassiou, C., Phillips, T., Arthur, F.H., Aikens, M.J., Agrafioti, P., Hartzer, K.L. 2020. Efficacy of phosphine to different life stages of Trogoderma inclusum and Dermestes maculatus. Journal of Stored Products Research. 86:101556.

Interpretive Summary: The insect family dermestidae contains several species that can infest stored grains, museum artifacts, and animal feed. The fumigant phosphine is often used to control insects in stored grains and in food warehouses where palletized goods can be safely treated by tarping the pallet to confine the fumigant. However, there is little information on concentrations of phosphine needed to control dermestids, in contrast to other stored product insects. We conducted studies using two insect species, the larger cabinet beetle and the hide beetle, by exposing different life stages to a series of phosphine concentrations. For both species, eggs were the most tolerant life stage, followed by pupae, then larvae and adults. Concentrations of at least 300-400 ppm were needed to kill all life stages of both species, but low concentrations of 50-100 ppm killed most adults and larvae. Resource managers can use this information in control programs for dermestids, including using targeted concentrations of phosphine depending on the specific life stage.

Technical Abstract: Despite the importance of dermestid beetles as targets for stored product protection, including the protection of museum artefacts and animal-based products, there are only a few published reports regarding their susceptibility to phosphine fumigation, in contrast with other major stored-product insect species. In the current study, we evaluated phosphine against all life stages of Trogoderma inclusum LeConte, the larger cabinet beetle, and Dermestes maculatus (DeGeer), the hide beetle. There were two series of laboratory bioassays; in the first series the concentrations were 0 (control), 50, 100, 200 and 600 ppm, and in the second series the concentrations were 0 (control), 50, 150, 300, 400, 500 and 600 ppm. Both series were carried out on a 5-day insect exposure protocol. The results for both species clearly indicated that eggs were by far the least susceptible life stage, followed by pupae, while most adults and larvae were killed at the 50-ppm concentration. Concentrations between 300 and 400 ppm could be utilized to provide 100 % mortality for both species and all life stages. To our knowledge, our results are the first that have provided date regarding efficacy of phosphine for the control of T. inclusum and D. maculatus. Resource managers can utilize our results to more efficiently target these dermestids with specific concentrations of phosphine, depending on the target life stage.