The Larger Black Flour Beetle (LBFB) is an agricultural and home nuisance pest in North America. Normally a pest of stored grain, in the Southern High Plains of Texas the LBFB is associated with cotton gin trash, by-products of cotton ginning that are field-stored in large piles for economic reasons. LBFB overwinter in gin trash piles but disperse by the millions in summer and autumn, entering houses as far as 2 km away where they cause distress to homeowners. Because nearly a million kg of gin trash are produced annually in Texas alone, the potential consequences of the LBFB are enormous. We conducted a field experiment that evaluated the efficacy of diatomaceous earth on the abundance of the LBFB in gin trash. There were no differences in numbers of LBFB among treatments and control, and there were sufficient numbers of beetles in the treated piles to still pose a home nuisance problem. Therefore, treating cotton gin trash with diatomaceous earth will likely be unable to prevent home infestations of LBFB. Gin trash pile cardinal orientation, location within a pile, and season influenced pest numbers, which has implications for long-term field storage of cotton gin trash.
Species 1: Coleoptera Tenebrionidae Cynaeus angustus (larger black flour beetle)
Keywords: cotton gin trash
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