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Evaluation of synergized pyrethrin aerosol for control of Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

Kabita Kharel, Frank H. Arthur, Kun Yan Zhu, James F. Campbell, Bhadriraju Subramanyam
Journal of Economic Entomology 2014 v.107 no.1 pp. 462-468
Tribolium castaneum, Tribolium confusum, adults, aerosols, direct contact, eggs, flour, food processing plants, indirect contact, insect control, insecticides, larvae, mortality, pupae, pyrethrins, sanitation, storage insects
Aerosol insecticides have been used in flour mill pest management programs, but there is limited information on their efficacy on different insect life stages. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of synergized pyrethrin applied as an aerosol against eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), and the confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val. Effects of direct and indirect exposure were evaluated by exposing each life stage to the aerosol and then transferring to untreated flour, transferring untreated insects to treated flour, or exposing both the insects and the flour to the aerosol. The aerosol was effective against both species and all life stages when insects were directly treated with it, irrespective of transferring them to treated or untreated flour, and mortality was generally >88%. The mortality was significantly reduced when insects were either treated together with flour or untreated insects were transferred to treated flour (indirect exposure to the aerosol). Larvae and adults of both species were more tolerant compared to eggs and pupae. Additionally, more moribund adults in indirect exposure treatments were able to recover compared to moribund insects in the direct exposure treatments. Results show the importance of delivering the aerosol to the insects instead of treating flour or surfaces. Good sanitation prior to aerosol application could facilitate direct exposure of insects and thus increase its effectiveness inside flour mills.