Biological control of stored-product insects in commodities, food processing facilities and museums

  • M. Schöller Julius Kühn-Institut, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Ecological Chemistry, Plant Analysis and Stored Product Protection, Section Stored Product Protection; Königin-Luise-Str. 19, D-14195 Berlin. Email: Matthias.Schoeller@jk


Non-chemical control methods have gained importance in integrated pest management, as policies aiming to minimize the application of residual chemical insecticides are being adopted by many companies, and a growing market of organic produce. The associations of organic farming have established self-restrictions concerning chemical control. Examples are given of how organically producing farms and processing companies function without synthetic chemical pesticides. Both non-chemical control methods for complete disinfestations and for suppression of re-infestation or residual infestations are needed. For complete disinfestations, heat treatment of buildings is now more widely used. Data on heat-tolerance of storedproduct pests and an example for a heat treatment of a mill will be given. For high-value products such as spices, tea or medical plants, deep freezing is applied. Temperature data are needed to apply product-specific freezing conditions to obtain complete control at the core of the bulk. An integrated management strategy is needed to keep products free from infestation following disinfestations, along the whole chain from the storage of raw products to the consumer. Biological control is a part of that strategy. A new branch of the biological control industry is developing in Europe. Natural enemies for stored-product pests are now produced in The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. Traditional pest control companies are using insect parasites and predators more and more to control stored-product insects, indicating an adoption of biological control. Homeowners throughout Europe are purchasing online Trichogramma sp. to control moth pests. Biological control is especially attractive to processing facilities that are not willing to stop production for pest control operations. Small farms with bulk grain stores that are not gas-tight apply parasitoids as well. Recommendations for the application of natural enemies are presented for these examples. Finally, recent developments on natural enemies both for stored-product pests, e.g. flour beetles, and museum and wood boring pests are presented.

Keywords: Stored-product Pests, Material Destroying pests, Temperature modification, Biological control