The phase out of methyl bromide for the treatment of structures where grain is milled or processed has triggered a need to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative structural treatments such as sulfuryl fluoride and heat. Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (red flour beetle) and Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val (confused flour beetle) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) are primary targets for structural treatments, and impact of treatments on these species was evaluated in this study. Efficacy was measured by comparing beetle captures in pheromone- and kairomone-baited traps immediately before and immediately after treatments. Studies were conducted primarily in commercial wheat mills and rice mills, with the treatments conducted by commercial applicators. A meta-analysis approach was used to evaluate efficacy data collected from 111 treatments applied in 39 facilities. Findings confirm that structural fumigations and heat treatments greatly reduce pest populations within food facilities, but there was significant variation in the efficacy of individual treatments. Generally, the different treatment types (sulfuryl fluoride, methyl bromide, and heat) provided similar reductions in beetle capture using multiple metrics of beetle activity. The novel application of meta-analysis to structural treatment efficacy assessment generated a robust estimate of overall treatment efficacy, provided insights into factors potentially impacting efficacy, and identified data gaps that need further research.
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Vol. 108 • No. 5