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1 June 2003 Wheat in Bins and Discharge Spouts, and Grain Residues on Floors of Empty Bins in Concrete Grain Elevators as Habitats for Stored-Grain Beetles and Their Natural Enemies
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Wheat stored in upright concrete bins at seven grain elevators in central Kansas was sampled intermittently for insects over a 2.5-yr period by collecting samples from the upper half of the grain mass, from the discharge spout at the base of the bins, and from residue remaining in empty bins before the 2000 wheat harvest. Samples were taken from the grain mass with a power vacuum sampler (PV) and from the discharge spouts (DS) by dropping grain onto the reclaim belt beneath the bins. The density and species distribution in the residue samples were compared with those found in the DS samples and samples from the grain mass (PV). Cryptolestes spp. dominated the insect populations in all types of samples, constituting >40% of all insects in the PV samples in three of five time periods and >60% of all insects in DS samples in four of the five time periods. Cryptolestes spp. was an early colonizer, being found in the grain mass shortly after new grain was added. Rhyzopertha dominica appeared to be slower to colonize grain and grain residue, but sometimes developed large populations (i.e., 2.4 ± 0.7 adults/kg between July and December 2000). Sitophilus spp. weevils often were present in grain masses, were often abundant in grain in the discharge spouts (i.e., 11.1 ± 2.9 adults/kg between July and December 2000), and were abundant in grain residue in empty bins in May/June 2000 (5.3 ± 0.7 adults/kg). Differences in density and species distribution of insects in grain in the upper part of the grain mass and those in the discharge spouts indicated that the populations were not closely related. Grain in discharge spouts usually was densely infested, and parasitic wasps, natural enemies of several of the beetles, were found when the density of the pest insects was greater than ≈10/kg. The population of natural enemies appeared to increase when the density of pest insects increased after a lag of about one month, and decreased when the population of pest insects decreased. Grain in discharge spouts appeared to provide an incubation chamber for pest insects, and removing this grain periodically should reduce the resident populations. Residue in empty bins often was densely infested compared with samples from the grain masses. Cleaning the empty bins before refilling with newly-harvested wheat resulted in a significantly-reduced density of pest insects in discharge spouts later, and the effect lasted at least 12 wk after filling.

Carl R. Reed, D. W. Hagstrum, P. W. Flinn, and R. F. Allen "Wheat in Bins and Discharge Spouts, and Grain Residues on Floors of Empty Bins in Concrete Grain Elevators as Habitats for Stored-Grain Beetles and Their Natural Enemies," Journal of Economic Entomology 96(3), 996-1004, (1 June 2003).
Received: 28 June 2002; Accepted: 1 December 2002; Published: 1 June 2003

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