One California processor of organic garbanzo beans (Cicer arietinum L.), unable to use chemical fumigants, relies on 30-d storage at −18°C to disinfest product of the cowpea weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus (F). To determine whether the storage period may be shortened, the most cold-tolerant life stage of the cowpea weevil was identified. Laboratory studies showed that the egg stage was most tolerant to −18°C and that adults were most susceptible. To examine the efficacy of cold storage disinfestation, bags of black-eyed peas, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp., infested with cowpea weevil eggs were buried within garbanzo bean bins placed in a commercial cold storage facility kept at approximately −18°C and removed after 7, 14, and 21 d. Survival was highest in eggs located at the center of the bins and coincided with the slowest cooling rate. Although temperatures within the bins did not reach −18°C until after 14–19 d, egg mortality was estimated to be >98% after just 7 d of exposure. Complete mortality of eggs occurred after 14 d of cold storage. A 2-wk treatment regimen may be sufficient for control of cowpea weevil in organic legumes.
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Vol. 96 • No. 6