Stored-product insects are a perennial problem in retail stores, where they damage and contaminate susceptible merchandise such as food products and animal feed. Historically, pest management in these stores has relied heavily on chemical insecticides, but environmental and health issues have dictated use of safer methods, and these require better monitoring. A monitoring procedure that employs an array of moth and beetle traps combined with spatial (contour) analysis of trap catch was tested in three department stores and two pet stores. The rate of capture increased with the level of infestation but was essentially constant over 4- to 5-d trapping periods. Contour analysis effectively located foci of infestation and reflected population changes produced by applications of the insect growth regulator (S)-hydroprene. The most abundant insects were Plodia interpunctella (Hübner), Lasioderma serricorne (F.), Oryzaephilus mercator (Fauvel), Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), and Cryptolestes pusillus (Schönherr). The results indicate that contour analysis of trap counts provides a useful monitoring tool for management of storage pests in retail stores. It identifies trouble spots and permits selection, timing, and precision targeting of control measures to achieve maximum pest suppression with minimum pesticide risk. It permits managers and pest control operators to visualize pest problems over an entire store, to monitor changes over time, and to evaluate the effectiveness of control intervention. The contour maps themselves, along with records of control applications and stock rotation, provide permanent documentation of pest problems and the effectiveness of pest management procedures.
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Vol. 93 • No. 5