Diversity of insect pests and the infestation foci in eight feed mills in the Midwestern United States were investigated using commercial pitfall and sticky traps. To assess the medical importance of insects in this environment, product samples from 25 sites within each mill were collected and sieved to obtain live insects. Individual insect specimens were surface sterilized, homogenized in potassium phosphate buffer, and plated on a broad-spectrum medium and two selective and differentiating media to culture the gut bacterial community.
Our results indicate a great insect diversity in the feed mill environments. Fifteen insect species were captured using the traps, consisting of 13 beetle and 2 moth species. Data on the microbial community indicate a significant population of a potential human pathogen, Aerococcus viridans, in the digestive tract of several insect species, including the lesser grain borer, red flour beetle, and rusty/flat grain beetle. The susceptibility of A. viridans to eight clinically important antibiotics has been also assessed. Results of this research will serve as a baseline for development of pest management strategies in the feed mill environment.
Species 1: Coleoptera Bostrichidae Rhyzopertha dominica (lesser grain borer)
Species 2: Coleoptera Tenebrionidae Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle)
Keywords: stored-product insects, bacteria
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