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A New Nano-Based Detector for the Indian Meal Moth, Both Adult Insects and Larva

Smilanich, Nicholas
Sensor Development Corp
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Sensor Development Corporation's (SDC's) goal is to develop an affordable sensor that enables pest monitoring and detection in an extensive number of venues where economics and health issues occur. This single portable unit will detect the Indianmeal moth adult insect and larvae below the targeted infestation number, allowing pest managers to take action to limit damage from these pests and contain them to specific areas early. This is done by detecting the Indianmeal moth adult female insect's sex pheromones and by sensing the semiochemicals in Indianmeal moth larvae frass and mandibular gland secretions.The Indianmeal moth is the most common stored product insect found throughout the U.S. It is the one insect found more often than any other on stored food and grain in the U.S. The adult Indianmeal moth can be found almost anywhere in the temperate regions of the world. In the U.S. and Europe it is the one insect pest that causes the most damage.SDC will accomplish this goal with the following objectives:In the laboratory SDC will modify their existing prototype device to detect adult Indianmeal moths and larvae by using basic and applied knowledge to change the onboard chips and their operating conditions. This will include evaluating various catalysts in the semiconductor material on the chips and various firing temperatures for the semiconductor.Further laboratory testing will include using toluene in the gas stream with the insect pheromones and larval semiochemicals to identify the best chips for selectivity. Toluene represents with the background interfering gases found in the insect environment.Demonstrate in a field trial that SDC device responds to live adult Indianmeal moths and to live Indianmeal moth larvae present in a typical stored product or products, such as soft white flour, whole wheat products and wheat bran productsConfirm presence of volatile semiochemicals and identify other volatiles in headspace gas over stored product with Indianmeal moth larvae. This work will also identify the physico-chemical properties of the Indianmeal moth larva semiochemicals.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Grains, Beans, Legumes