Flour Beetle

Tribolium are difficult insects to manage for several reasons:
1. They are nocturnal and like to hide in cracks in floors.
2. They live a long time (9 months to 2 years).
3. Their eggs survive the physical beating that milling and manufacturing
offers.

The best way to manage them is:
1. Monitor with a flashlight for trails in dust.
2. Use PC Floor Traps from CSL’s York lab to live capture the adults. Leave the live adults in the trap, they will then produce natural pheromone. Place one trap every 3-5 meters in areas where beetles are suspected near walls and support beams.

3. Use heat treatment (45-60º C for 18-24 hours) or sulfuryl fluoride fumigant (ProFume) to kill these beetles when their numbers get out of control.

4. Use good hygiene to reduce their reoccurrence.

5. Mark the spots where you find dead insects after the heat up or fumigation and concentrate on these areas with improved hygiene and approved insecticide sprays like cyfl uthrin or deltamethrin (synthetic pyrethroid).

Finally, I like the idea of monitoring, cleaning, and doing back-to-back foggings with an approved fogging insecticide after all the equipment is opened. I fog pyrethrum 3% with Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) like Methoprene or other IGR’s (non-toxic mimics of natural hormone in insects that stop them from reproducing). I wait four hours or longer and then fog the second time with Pyrethrum or other approved fogging materials. Be sure to add heat to 30-35º C to the building to accelerate the respiration of the insects so they breathe harder and this combination will do a good job of killing about 70% of the exposed beetles in 8 hours! This will save shutdown time. Now repeat this procedure and monitor with pheromone traps to determine the population rebound and then you can see how effective this treatment was. The cost is many times less than a full shutdown and fumigation.

Pest management works when there is not an outbreak of insects during warm weather. Fumigation works best when you need to use a ‘big hammer’ to gain control when the population has reached outbreak populations.

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