Effect of cold temperature treatment on confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Veronica Fernandez , Biology, University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX
Christopher Vitek , Biology, University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX
Hugh E. Conway , Mission Laboratory, USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST, Edinburg, TX
Kristen Hopperstad , Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
The confused flour beetle (Tribolium confusum) is notorious for infesting stored foods including grains and flours. A serious infestation of T. Confusum was found within a Moore Air Base warehouse containing bags of diet ingredients used for Mexican Fruit Fly (Anastrepha ludens) production and fruit fly trapping supplies. Live beetles were present inside the containers with trapping supplies making shipping troublesome. Cold temperature testing inside of refrigerated semi-trailers across four days was used to kill the beetles prior to shipment outside of Texas. Pallets (50 bags) of wheat germ were placed inside a 0⁰F (-17.8⁰C) freezer for a week. After 5 days in the freezer, the interior bags reached 10 ⁰F (-12.2 ⁰C) killing the beetles. Condensation and ice formed between the bags making this solution unusable. Infested diet ingredients were removed from the warehouse and monitoring is ongoing using Dome traps with insect pheromones Bullet Lure™ (Insects Limited, Inc., Westfield, IN). When the beetle infestation is gone, new shipments of clean diet ingredients can be placed in the warehouse and a continuous monitoring system established to minimize and hopefully eliminate any future beetle outbreaks.
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