Terry Arbogast, Mentor
Melanie Gray is using the Surfer program to analyze data on cigarette beetles (Lasioderma serricorne).
In the environmental growth chamber, Melanie is examining almond moth (Cadra cantella) pupae. This project involves determining how well almond moths do on various diets.
Cigarette Beetle: Analysis of Spatial Distribution of Lasioderma serricorne (F.)
The Cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricius), is a common pest in homes, stores and warehouses. As the name indicates, this beetle is found in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and even chewing tobacco, but it also attacks a variety of products found in your pantry, such as flour, spices and cereal. Due to the large number of eggs produced and the wide range of products susceptible to infestation, the cigarette beetle may be difficult to control. The first indication of its presence is often adults flying around lights at night. The best way to control an infestation of the cigarette beetle is to find the source and dispose of infested items. Then clean the area well, using a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner bag should be thrown away to prevent another infestation.
Experiments aimed at monitoring the beetles in large warehouses and retail stores have shown that pheromone traps and spatial analysis of trap data are effective in identifying the areas of infestation. A model of these large-scale experiments was set up in a metal storage shed at CMAVE. The purpose of the project was to evaluate how accurately contour analysis methods pinpoint centers of beetle infestation. In this experiment we released two-thousand beetles in the shed, and recorded the number of beetles in each of the fourteen pheromone traps after 6, 24 and 48 hours. Throughout the experiment we also measured temperature (°C) at all trap positions and relative humidity at some. The experiment was replicated 5 times over a five-week period.
The temperature, humidity and trap catch data were entered in Surfer 7 for contour analysis. By comparing contour maps of temperature and humidity with contour maps of trap count we were able to see how these environmental factors affected the number of beetles caught in the traps. These analyses, in which the source of infestation was known, will help us to better interpret analyses for commercial situations. By precisely locating infested areas, treatment can be targeted precisely where needed to rid a warehouse, store, or home of this pest. This eliminates the need to treat an entire building, and thus reduces pesticide risk.