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Quarantine treatment of storage insect pests under vacuum or CO₂ in transportable systems


¹Department of Stored Products, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, P.O.Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
²Bureau of Postharvest for Research and Extension, Department of Agriculture, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
³Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam, Kahramanmaras 46060, Turkey
Corresponding author: snavarro@agri.gov.il

Abstract: The objective of our investigation was to identify the combinations that enhance the effectiveness of insect control based on vacuum or CO₂ in combination with increased temperatures as quarantine treatment of storage pests. 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 diapausing larvae were most resistant species, whereby 172 h exposure was necessary under the same conditions. Effect of CO₂ at 45°C on reducing the exposure time for diapausing larvae of T. granarium showed that by increasing the CO₂ concentration to 90% the LT₉₉ value decreased to about 10 h, whereas at 35ºC the LT₉₉ value was 29 h. Ephestia cautella larvae were shown to be the most resistant stage to 90% CO₂ at 40°C, with an LT₉₉ value of only 6 h. For Oryzaephilus surinamensis under the same conditions, the LT₉₉ value was 9 h for the most resistant egg stage. These encouraging reports led to the idea of developing a transportable flexible storage 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™”. Bioassay in field trials demonstrated that complete mortality of test insects composed of all four developmental stages of E. cautella and Tribolium castaneum was observed upon 3-days exposure to vacuum.

Key words: quarantine treatment, methyl bromide alternatives, vacuum, CO₂, storage insects, transportable systems, Trogoderma granarium.

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