Control of Insects and Mites with Carbon Dioxide in Wheat Stored at Cool Temperatures In Nonairtight Bins

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Carbon dioxide at concentrations of 15-50% by volume was evaluated for its ability to control insect and mite populations in nonairtight bins of wheat stored at 12-15±C for 84 d. Unsealed bins and sealed, untreated bins served as controls. Compressed carbon dioxide was introduced into the bottom of the bins on days 0, 7, 14, and 28, and the bins were sealed to allow 5-, 6-, or 14-d half-lives of the gas from loss through diffusion. Levels of carbon dioxide were generally higher at the bottom locations in the bins (range of maximum, 30-50%) than at the top (range of maximum, 15-32%), where the greatest losses occurred, and oxygen levels never fell below 11% at any sample location. Overall levels of carbon dioxide in the bins stayed higher in bins that were more airtight. Populations of the insects Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens), Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), and Ahasverus advena (Waltl) and the mites Tarsonemus granarius Lindquist, Paratriophtydeus coineaui Andre, Lepidoglyphus destructor (Schrank), and Aeroglyphus robustus (Banks) were sharply reduced by day 28 in bins having the two highest carbon dioxide levels. Pests were virtually absent by day 42 in the most airtight bins. There were generally no differences in arthropod numbers in bins with 6- or 14-d half-lives for carbon dioxide loss. Seed germination and fungal infection by the Aspergillus glaucus group were not affected by the carbon dioxide. Frequent additions of carbon dioxide can compensate for Jossof gas in incompletely sealed bins and provide effective control for arthropod pests.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1991

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