Hermetic storage is of interest to farmers and warehouse managers as a method to control insect pests in small storage facilities. To develop improved understanding of effects of hermetic storage on insect pest activity and mortality over time, oxygen levels, acoustic signals, and observations of visual movement were recorded from replicates of 25, 50, and 100 adult Sitophilus oryzae (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) hermetically sealed in 500- and 1,000-ml glass jars. Recordings were done for 28 d; twice daily for the first 6 d and twice weekly thereafter. Insect sounds were analyzed as short bursts (trains) of impulses with spectra that matched average spectra (profiles) of previously verified insect sound impulses. Oxygen consumption was highest in treatments of 100 insects/500-ml jar and lowest in 25/1000-ml jars. The rates of bursts per insect, number of impulses per burst, and rates of burst impulses per insect decreased as the residual oxygen levels decreased in each treatment. Activity rates <0.02 bursts s-1, the acoustic detection threshold, typically occurred as oxygen fell below 5%. Mortality was observed at 2% levels. The time to obtain these levels of insect activity and oxygen depletion ranged from 3-14 d depending on initial infestation levels. Acoustic detection made it possible to estimate the duration required for reduction of insect activity to levels resulting in negligible damage to the stored product under hermetic conditions. Such information is of value to farmers and warehouse managers attempting to reduce pest damage in stored crops.
Keywords: detection; hermetic storage; insect activity; metabolism; oxygen.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.