Field studies were conducted from July 2002 to January 2003 for evaluating the effects of controlled aeration and a commercial biological insecticide, spinosad, in suppressing insect populations in stored wheat. Six cylindrical steel bins were filled with newly harvested (2002 crop year) hard red winter wheat on 9 and 10 July 2002. Each bin contained 30.7 metric tons (1,100 bu) of wheat. Wheat in two bins was left untreated (control), whereas wheat in two bins was treated with spinosad, and in another two bins was subjected to aeration by using aeration controllers. Spinosad was applied to wheat at the time of bin filling to obtain a rate of 1 mg ([AI])/kg. Aeration controllers were set to run the fans when ambient air temperature fell below 23.9, 18.3, and 7.2°C for the first, second, and third cooling cycles, respectively. We added 400 adults each of the rusty grain beetle, Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens); lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.); and red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), to the grain at monthly intervals between July and October 2002. Insect density in the bins was estimated monthly by taking 3-kg grain samples from 21 locations within each bin by using a pneumatic grain sampler. No live T. castaneum or C. ferrugineus and very low densities of R. dominica (<0.008 adults per kilogram) were found in wheat treated with spinosad during the 6-mo sampling period. Density of C. ferrugineus and T. castaneum in aerated bins did not exceed two adults per kilogram (the Federal Grain Inspection Service standard for infested wheat), whereas R. dominica increased to 12 adults per kilogram in November 2002, which subsequently decreased to three adults per kilogram in January 2003. In the untreated (control) bins, R. dominica density increased faster than that of C. ferrugineus or T. castaneum. Density of R. dominica peaked at 58 adults per kilogram in October 2002 and decreased subsequently, whereas T. castaneum density was 10 adults per kilogram in October 2002 but increased to 78 adults per kilogram in January 2003. Density of C. ferrugineus increased steadily during the 6-mo study period and was highest (six adults per kilogram) in January 2003. This is the first report comparing the field efficacy of spinosad and aeration in managing insects in farm bins. Our results suggest that spinosad is very effective in suppressing R. dominica, C. ferrugineus, and T. castaneum populations in stored wheat.
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Vol. 97 • No. 4