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Open Access Periodic Physical Disturbance: An Alternative Method for Controlling Sitophilus zeamais (Maize Weevil) Infestation

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Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky is the most important insect pest of stored maize in tropical regions. The objective of this study was to determine the practicality of periodic physical disturbance on S. zeamais mortality and its adoption by smallholder farmers in developing countries. In this experiment, treatments and control were arranged in a randomized block design with three replications and three storage times in three regions of Tanzania. Region was used as the blocking variable. A total of 108 clean 20-L plastic containers were each loaded with 10 kg of fresh white dent corn and 0.50 kg of maize infested with S. zeamais. For the treatment, containers were disturbed twice a day, whereas for the controls the containers were not disturbed until the end of storage. The overall mortality rate (%) after 30, 60, and 90 days of storage were 88%, 96%, and 98%, respectively. A statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) was observed for the number of live S. zeamais between the control and experimental treatments. Additionally, the number of live S. zeamais in the treatment significantly decreased as storage time increased. This study shows the potential of a feasible, simple, affordable, and effective method of protecting maize grain for small-holder farmers in developing countries without using chemicals.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA 2: Department of Food Technology, Nutrition and Consumers Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro P.O. BOX. 3006, Tanzania

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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