Biodegradable cutlery made from starches and gluten were exposed to the adult lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) and the larvae of Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hubner). Each species was exposed to both individual unwrapped cutlery and vacuum sealed packages. Dry and humid conditions were established for different insect densities and natural insect infestations were in an operating feed mill warehouse. Control treatments were also established under the same conditions. Cutlery was examined for insect damage 21 and 42 days after infestation. The starch-based cutlery gained weight under the humid conditions. Damage to unwrapped cutlery was observed at all insect densities. Wrapping cutlery helped in preventing insect damage. Results proved that stored product insects can cause significant damage on starch-based, biodegradable plastics.
Species 1: Coleoptera Bostrichidae Rhyzopertha dominica (lesser grain borer)
Species 2: Lepidoptera Pyralidae Plodia interpunctella (Indian meal moth)
Keywords: stored product insects, biodegradable plastics
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