The susceptibility of various life stages of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), a pest of stored wheat, Triticum aestivum L., to flameless catalytic infrared radiation in the 3–7-µm range was evaluated in the laboratory. Immature stages were collected from flour infested with T. castaneum adults only for 1 d. Stages collected after 1 d represented eggs (collected on day 0); those collected after 7, 14, and 21 d from day 0 represented larvae in different developmental stages, whereas those collected after 24 d represented pupae. Adults (2 wk old) were collected after 42 d. Each of these stages was exposed for 45 or 60 s in 113.5 or 227.0 g of wheat at a distance of 8.0 or 12.7 cm from a bench top infrared emitter. The mean temperatures attained during exposures were measured continuously using a noncontact infrared thermometer connected to a computer. The mean grain temperatures attained increased with an increase in exposure time and were inversely related to distance from the emitter. Grain quantity least influenced mean temperatures attained. Pupae were the least susceptible stage and larvae collected after 7 d were the most susceptible stage. Variation in probability of death of various life stages decreased with an increase in mean grain temperatures attained. All life stages were killed after a 60-s exposure at a distance of 8.0 cm from the emitter in 113.5 g of wheat, where the mean ± SE temperatures attained ranged from 107.6 ± 1.2 to 111.4 ± 0.5°C. Our laboratory results using small grain quantities and short exposure times showed that flameless catalytic infrared radiation can be a valuable tool for managing insects in stored organic and nonorganic wheat.
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Vol. 104 • No. 1