Evaluation of methoprene-treated packaging against Trogoderma granarium Everts and Trogoderma inclusum LeConte larval development and packaging penetration or invasion.
Trogoderma granarium Everts, khapra beetle, and Trogoderma inclusum LeConte, larger cabinet beetle, are highly destructive insect species that can infest a variety of food sources. Methoprene is an insect growth regulator, IGR, and recently has been incorporated into packaging materials as a treatment option for packaged grain, food, birdseed, and feed products, and labeled for this use by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of continual exposure to this novel packaging technology on the development of T. inclusum and T. granarium larvae, and its potential use as a packaging treatment to prevent the penetration or invasion of T. inclusum and T. granarium into food packages. The methoprene-treated packaging incorporated into Kraft paper, woven bag material, polyethylene-polyethylene (PE-PE) material, and a polyethylene terephthalate-polyethylene (PET-PE) material, reduced normal adult emergence of exposed larvae. No normal adult emergence was observed on the inside surface of the PET-PE material. The polymer-based materials were the most effective at preventing penetration or invasion by Trogoderma spp. Only 2% of packages were invaded among all packaging treatment combinations compared to 16.7% invasion of untreated packages. The materials were ranked in effectiveness as Kraft < woven < PET-PE < PE-PE, however, all materials demonstrated significant positive results on Trogoderma spp. This novel packaging could easily be adopted as a packaging control strategy against these and other stored product insects in packaged products destined for commercial, international, and smallholder farm storage of cereal grains, feed, and other food products.