Food Technology Information Center

Integrated Storage Pest Control Methods Using Vacuum or CO₂ in Transportable Systems

Shlomo Navarro, Simcha Finkelman, Ezra Donahaye, Refael Dias, Miriam Rindner and Avihu Azrieli

Department of Stored Products, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, P. O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
e-mail: snavarro@volcani.agri.gov.il

Abstract: The suggested potential alternatives to MB (methyl bromide) for disinfestation of durable commodities are likely to be costly compared to the use of MB. In addition, very few of the suggested treatments have the effectiveness of short exposure time comparable to MB. The objective of our investigation was to identify the combinations that enhance the effectiveness of the treatments based on vacuum or a combination of heat and CO₂.

Tests of the influence of CO₂ at 45ºC on reducing the exposure time expressed as LT₉₉ values for diapausing larvae of Trogoderma granarium showed that by increasing the CO₂ concentration to 90% the exposure time decreased to about 10 h, whereas at 35ºC the LT₉₉ value was 29 h. Ephestia cautella pupae were shown to be the most resistant stage to the same treatment with an LT₉₉ value of only 3 h. For Oryzaephilus surinamensis under the same conditions, it was 9 h for the most resistant egg stage. In laboratory studies with Lasioderma serricorne exposed to low pressures at 30ºC, LT₉₉ value for adults was 15 h when exposed to 25 mm Hg. Trogoderma granarium larvae were the most resistant species, whereby 172 h exposure was necessary under the same conditions.

These encouraging reports led to the idea of developing a transportable system to render the technology a practical tool for the control of insect pests. Experiments were carried out using a 15-m³ capacity plastic container termed the “Volcani Cube™” or “GrainPro Cocoon®”. The pressure was maintained between 25 to 29 mm Hg for 17 days. Bioassay in field trials demonstrated that complete mortality of test insects composed of mixed ages of E. cautella Plodia interpunctella, and larvae of T. castaneum was observed on the 3-days exposure to vacuum.

Key words: IPM, storage pests control, vacuum, CO₂, transportable systems, methyl bromide alternatives, Oryzaephilus surinamensis, Trogoderma granarium, Ephestia cautella, Plodia interpunctella, Tribolium castaneum, Lasioderma serricorne

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