The effects of shelving type, packaging, and release height on success of Trichogramma deion Pinto & Oatman (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) parasitizing Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) eggs was studied under laboratory conditions. In trials on multiple-tiered gondola-type or open shelving units, with or without packaging, foraging success was evaluated by comparing parasitism and total mortality rates of sentinel egg disks among shelves after a single point-release of T. deion. Results showed that T. deion parasitized more egg disks and killed more total eggs on open shelves than on gondola shelving. The presence of packaging had no effect on parasitoid foraging on open shelves; however, packaging did interfere with parasitism of P. interpunctella eggs on gondola shelving. Egg parasitism and mortality patterns among shelves were not as evenly distributed on gondola-type shelving compared with open shelving. On gondola shelves without packages, changing the release point of T. deion from the middle to the lowest shelf shifted the distribution of parasitism toward the floor. Gondola shelving, especially in the presence of packaging, reduced foraging efficiency of T. deion for P. interpunctella eggs. Thus, to attain adequate control of P. interpunctella, it may be necessary to use two release heights on gondola shelving.
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Vol. 99 • No. 6