Pests of stored food commodities and their management with particular reference to hide and skin beetle, Dermestes maculatus (Deg.) in Manipur.
Surveys were conducted from 1980 to 1983 in Manipur, India, on stored food commodities, their pest problems and methods of storage for effective pest management. Rice was the major storage commodity followed by maize, dry fish and potato. Among 21 species of insect pests recorded on stored food commodities, Corcyra cephalonica in rice, Sitotroga cerealella in rice and maize, Sitophilus oryzae in wheat and maize, Tribolium castaneum and Ephestia cautella in wheat flour, Stegobium paniceum in turmeric, Bruchus pisorum in peas, Callosobruchus sp. in pulses and beans, and Dermestes maculatus in dry fish were recorded as major pests in summer. There was a low incidence of Mimegralla coeruleifrons in ginger, Pyralis pictalis in colocasia and Gnorimoschema operculella [Phthorimaea operculella] in potato during the winter. Among the vertebrate pests, Rattus rattus was a major problem. Among traditional storage practices, 4 structures (Ningei, Kei, Kot and Apu achouba) were commonly used for storing rice, whereas Nga chaphu was used for fish storage. Local storage methods (Chujak yum and Chujak mapun) were used for maize. When different methods of maize storage were evaluated against S. oryzae, there was low pest damage for maize stoed using Chujak mapun. Studies on the seasonal incidence of D. maculatus revealed that the pest became active in March, increased its activity until August and declined further to become inactive in December. The peak activity of this pest in dry fish coincided with the maximum temperature, humidity and rainfall during July and August. Infestation of small-sized fish was comparatively low and, therefore, were suitable for winter storage, particularly using the Nga chaphu storage method.