Heat treatment of food-processing facilities involves using elevated temperatures (50– 60°C for 24–36 h) for management of stored-product insects. Heat treatment is a viable alternative to the fumigant methyl bromide, which is phased out in the United States as of 2005 because of its adverse effects on the stratospheric ozone. Very little is known about responses of the cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne (F.) (Coleoptera: Anobiidae), a pest associated with food-processing facilities, to elevated temperatures. Responses of L. serricorne life stages to elevated temperatures were evaluated to identify the most heat-tolerant stage. Exposure of eggs, young larvae, old larvae, and adults during heat treatment of a food-processing facility did not clearly show a life stage to be heat tolerant. In the laboratory, exposure of eggs, young larvae, old larvae, pupae, and adults at fixed times to 46, 50, and 54°C and 22% RH indicated eggs to be the most heat-tolerant stage. Time-mortality responses at each of these three temperatures showed that the time for 99% mortality (LT99) based on egg hatchability and egg-to-adult emergence was not significantly different from one another at each temperature. Egg hatchability alone can be used to determine susceptibility to elevated temperatures between 46 and 54°C. The LT99 based on egg hatchability and egg-to-adult emergence at 46°C was 605 and 598 min, respectively, and it decreased to 190 and 166 min at 50°C and 39 and 38 min at 54°C An exponential decay equation best described LT99 as a function of temperature for pooled data based on egg hatchability and egg-to-adult emergence. Our results suggest that during structural heat treatments eggs should be used in bioassays for gauging heat treatment effectiveness, because treatments aimed at controlling eggs should be able to control all other L. serricorne life stages.
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Vol. 104 • No. 1