In the United States, methyl bromide (MB) is an important insect control measure as a commodity and structural fumigant in flour mills, processing plants, and warehouses. The terms of the 1991 US Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol established a schedule for the cessation and withdrawal of MB. This schedule specified that the use of MB must cease by 2005 in developed countries and by 2015 in undeveloped countries. However, exemptions were made for all quarantine uses, and a process was established where groups could receive critical use exemptions (CUEs) while exploring MB alternative strategies. Indeed, food-processing facilities (flour mills, rice mills, pet food facilities) are replacing whole structure treatments using MB granted under the critical use nominations with sulfuryl fluoride (SF) and heat. Food-processing facilities also use a variety of integrated pest management (IPM) approaches such as sanitation and aerosol application. However, the costs and benefits of different IPM strategies have not been critically evaluated, optimally integrated, or compared with whole facility treatments.<P> The long-term goal of this project is to determine how IPM programs for stored-product insects in food-processing facilities and storage warehouses can be used to reduce or eliminate the need for whole structure treatments with MB, SF, and heat. <P>Specific objectives of this research are to: 1) determine efficacy and distribution patterns of insecticides applied as aerosols and interactions with sanitation and temperature in pilot scale flour mill; 2) evaluate aerosol insecticide applications and IPM programs in commercial facilities; 3) develop and optimize quantifiable red flour beetle monitoring programs based on pheromone trapping and sanitation/inspection programs; 4) develop population model to estimate control of flour beetles using an integrated management plan versus calendar-based treatments; 5) conduct an economic analysis of IPM based pest management versus calendar-based whole facility treatments; and 6) develop and implement technology transfer of information on IPM for the flour milling industry using workshops and web-based technologies. <P>We will focus on the management of the red flour beetle in food-processing facilities because this pest is the primary reason for MB CUEs being granted to the flour milling industry and serves as a good model for many other stored-product species. This project will enable us to build on foundation of information generated from previous studies funded by the MB Transition Program. Science-based information from this project will be disseminated to stakeholders through demonstration, web-based technologies, and publications through various formats. <P>Successful completion of this project will lead to reduction in use of MB, SF, or heat in food-processing facilities. This integrated project supports discovery and implementation of practical pest management alternatives to MB through research in pilot scale and commercial facilities, and involves detailed educational and technology transfer activities that promote adoption of MB alternatives by food industry stakeholders.
Non-Technical Summary: In the United States, food-processing facilities are replacing whole structure treatments using methyl bromide (MB) granted under the critical use nominations with sulfuryl fluoride (SF) and heat treatment. Food-processing facilities also utilize a variety of integrated pest management (IPM) approaches such as sanitation and aerosol application. However, the costs and benefits of these various IPM strategies have not been critically evaluated, optimally integrated, or compared with whole facility treatments. In this project, we will evaluate distribution and efficacy of dichlorovs applied as an aerosol and synergized pyrethrin aerosols combined with either pyriproxyfen or methoprene, applied through portable application systems, during different times of the year to simulate different seasonal temperatures, at the Kansas State University's pilot flour mill. Various sanitation levels will be simulated in the pilot mill. We will quantify deposition in open, obstructed, and hidden sites in the mill and evaluate aerosol effectiveness against different life stages of the red flour beetle and confused flour beetle. Different sanitation levels will be simulated in the pilot mill to evaluate effectiveness of aerosols. Similar tests will be conducted in cooperating commercial facilities. The cost-effectiveness of various IPM tactics will be evaluated through detailed economic analyses. Successful completion of this project will lead to a reduction in use of MB, SF, or heat in food-processing facilities. We will determine the efficacy and distribution patterns of insecticides applied as aerosols and the interactions between the aerosol application and sanitation/temperature in the Kansas State University's Hal Ross flour mill. The efficacy of three different insecticide or insecticide combinations (dichlorvos, pyriproxyfen+synergized pyrethrins, and methoprene+synergized pyrethrins) and their spatial deposition patterns will be evaluated using water sensitive and/or oil sensitive sheets of paper and bioassay techniques. We will evaluate aerosol insecticide applications and IPM programs in at least two commercial food facilities by using either a combination of pyrethrin and methoprene or dichlorvos. The studies will be focused on the residual activity assay and the use of pheromone traps to evaluate population trends. The residual tests will be conducted at seven different time points within the duration of 12 weeks post-treatment. We will develop and optimize quantifiable red flour beetle monitoring programs based on pheromone trapping and sanitation/inspection programs. The information on the costs in terms of materials and labor will be collected by measuring the time to setup of traps, processing traps in food facilities, time to move among traps, identifying and counting trap captures afterward. We will focus on analyzing trapping data to determine how best to use pheromone trapping information. We will develop a population model to estimate control of flour beetles using an integrated management plan versus calendar-based whole facility treatments. The model will be constructed to evaluate scenarios that are likely to be encountered when aerosols are applied in field sites, and will also include parameters to adjust the level of sanitation in a particular facility. The model will also be constructed and validated using the selective monitoring approach. We will conduct an economic analysis IPM based pest management versus calendar based whole facility treatments. Cost estimates will be developed for up to four yearly fumigations with each of the two fumigants and heat. This model will be generalized so that it will be applicable to other sites where MB is currently being used under the CUN provisions (rice mills and pet food plants). A yearly cost estimate will be developed for fumigation to compare with yearly costs of the more integrated approach. We will employ several different methods for transferring the results of the research project and education of user groups, including: 1) a hands-on training session during one of the aerosol treatments of the K-State pilot flour mill; 2) development of a new format of an extension publication called E-Extension; 3) development of a dynamic website for the listing of publications relating to MB alternatives specifically for the food industry; and 4) scientific presentations at national and international workshops and conferences.