A microwave radar system that senses motion was tested for capability to detect hidden insects of different sizes and activity levels in stored products. In initial studies, movements of individual adults or groups of Lasioderma serricorne (F.), Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.), Attagenus unicolor (Brahm), and Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) were easily detected over distances up to 30 cm in air. Boxes of corn meal mix and flour mix were artificially infested with 5–100 insects to estimate the reliability of detection. The likelihood that a box was infested was rated by the radar system on a quantitative scale. The ratings were significantly correlated with the numbers of infesting insects. The radar system has potential applications in management programs where rapid, nondestructive targeting of incipient insect infestations would be of benefit to the producers and consumers of packaged foods.
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Vol. 97 • No. 3