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Integrated Approach to the Use of Controlled Atmospheres for Insect Control in Grain Storage

Navarro, S. and Calderon, M.

Division of Stored Products, Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel.

Introduction: Significant progress has been made in recent years in using modified atmospheric gas concentrations for the control of stored product insects (Banks, 1979; Navarro et al., 1979; Shejbal, 1979). Contributions on this subject have shown the feasibility of using low oxygen concentrations in nitrogen atmospheres, high carbon dioxide concentrations or a mixture of these gases as efficient non-chemical control methods for the prevention of insect damage (Jay and Pearman, 1973; Shejbal et al, 1973; Navarro et al., 1979). However, it should be kept in mind that the atmospheric gas composition is only one of the factors acting on insects breeding in the grain bulk ecosystem (Banks and Annis, 1977). Other environmental factors affecting the survival of insects found in bulk-stored grain are temperature and relative humidity (Navarro, 1978; Storey, 1975). Therefore, the efficient use of controlled atmosphere storage should require the careful consideration of data concerning these two factors, which in some cases could be modified to increase the efficacy of this control method.

In this paper the effect of temperature and relative humidity on the effectiveness of atmospheric gas mixtures as an integrated approach to the control of stored grain pests, is described and discussed.

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