Red (Tribolium castaneum) and confused (T. confusum) flour beetles are major pests of the stored food industry. In food production and storage facilities, oil-based food based aggregation pheromone traps are used for early detection and monitoring of beetle populations. When utilized correctly, pest managers may detect pest populations before they have the opportunity to infest/damage stored food. However, audits/inspections often reveal pest populations that were never detected in monitoring traps. It is thought that the sanitation level in the facility influences trap catch by intercepting an insect in spilled food before reaching a trap. Additionally, pests in a "good" location (plenty of food) may be less inclined to leave that food source to travel to a food-based trap. Laboratory studies indicate that trap response is significantly influenced by the presence of food. Insects were released at three different distances from the trap. Released sites were either clean (no food) or dirty (food present). Trials were also run where food was placed at a distance half way between the trap and release point. At all three distances food significantly decreased trap catch. Additionally, distance to trap also significantly reduced trap catch. Maximum trap catch was less than fifty percent at the closest distance (1m) and decreased to less than 5% at the greatest distance (3m). The influence on these results on sanitation in commercial accounts will be discussed.
Species 1: Coleoptera Tenebrionidae Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle)
Species 2: Coleoptera Tenebrionidae Tribolium confusum (confused flour beetle)
Keywords: sanitation, pheromone
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