<OL> <LI> Determine the effectiveness of sulfuryl fluoride, phosphine, and methyl bromide against mold mites (Tyrophagus putrescentiae) and red-legged ham beetles (Necrobia rufipes) in all life cycles. These tests will be performed under the following conditions: a) laboratory conditions with a controlled atmosphere (no ham), b) experimental conditions with a controlled atmosphere (on ham and aged cheddar/colby), and c) ham houses (real world application, on ham).<LI> Determine the effectiveness of CO2 and ozone against mold mites (Tyrophagus putrescentiae) and red-legged ham beetles (Necrobia rufipes) in all life cycles (egg, larvae, pupal, adult) under laboratory conditions. If these methods are effective under laboratory conditions, tests will be performed in industrial settings <LI> Test the effects of sulfuryl fluoride, phosphine, and methyl bromide on the quality and safety of dry cured hams. <LI> To perform economical analyses based on price and dosage to determine the economic feasibility of using methyl bromide alternatives to eradicate Tyrophagus putrescentiae and Necrobia rufipes infestations including sulfuryl fluoride, phosphine, ozone, CO2, and other systems that may be effective replacements to methyl bromide.
Non-Technical Summary: Project directors will determine if any methyl bromide alternative is able to destroy mite and beetle infestations under laboratory conditions. Successful alternatives to methyl bromide will then be used at the plant level to determine if any of these methods are effective against mite and beetle infestations under real world conditions. <P> Approach: The first phase of research will consist of experiments to determine if any alternative method to methyl bromide is able to eradicate all life cycles of Tyrophagus putrescentiae and Necrobia rufipes under controlled laboratory conditions. Testing will also be performed to determine the safety and quality of food products treated with these alternatives. After laboratory tests are completed, successful methyl bromide alternatives will be utilized at the plant level to determine their ability to eradicate Tyrophagus putrescentiae and Necrobia rufipes infestations under industry conditions. Economic analyses of alternative technologies will be conducted to help determine if any of these techniques are economically feasible for processing facilities. Assistance will also be provided to processors to help implement integrated pest management programs if one is not currently in place.