Lasioderma serricorne: Effect of Dead Beetles on Efficiency of Pitfall Traps
Mentor: Terry Arbogast
Abstract: The cigarette beetle Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricius) is a widely distributed stored-product insect found in tropical and subtropical climates worldwide, as well as in warm buildings in temperate climates. The cigarette beetle, so named because it causes a great deal of damage to stored and processed tobacco, is highly adaptable and infests a wide variety of foodstuffs ranging from regular household products to products stored in warehouses.
Because of its highly destructive potential, it is important to understand the life history and behavior of cigarette beetles so that infestations can be located, eliminated, and prevented. This experiment was designed to determine if traps with dead beetles are more attractive than empty traps, which would raise the possibility that trapped beetles give off pheromones. To test this hypothesis, 14 traps were laid out in 3 semi-circles, 7 traps with 50 dead beetles each and 7 without beetles, to determine if there is a bias towards traps with beetles. Using trap catch data collected for each of the 5 replicates, contour maps were created using Surfer to show concentrations of beetles in the experiment shed. The results of this experiment show a statistically significant bias in favor of the traps with dead beetles.
Jennifer counting cigarette beetles caught in traps.