Non-toxic Pest Control
Midwest Freeze-Dry Presents
Insect Pest Control - the Non-chemical Way
For grains, books, papers, files, documents,
furniture, textiles, wood objects.
COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS
by: Meggan King
control the non-chemical way!!!.
The search for cost-effective alternatives to chemical insect pest control is
pushed by the desire to eliminate the possibilities of negative side effects on
human health and the environment. International standards in industrialized
countries have been raised (like the Montreal Protocol to phase out methyl
bromide). These new standards will drastically reduce, restrict and eventually
ban the use of many chemicals commonly used today.
pesticides, such as aluminum phosphide for example, can produce hazardous
phosphine gas upon decomposition. Because no chemicals are used in
radio-frequency treatment there are no harmful toxins which can be released into
the environment or residues left on the product. Therefore, radio-frequency
treatment has no harmful side effects to consumers, or the environment.
which effect stored grain are more resistant than those which normally infest
textiles, museum collections, libraries collections and furniture. The
effectiveness of radio-frequency treatment on these resistant grain insects
would become a guideline. If radio-frequency treatment destroys these insects,
then the less resistant insects have met the same fate. This eliminates the
necessity to collect insects to be sent to an entomologist for identification
prior to treatment, an often time and cost consuming exercise.
conducted at Midwest Freeze-Dry, Ltd. to examine the capabilities of using
radio-frequency waves for insect pest control. Exposing insects in a
radio-frequency energy field resulted in one hundred percent kill of the egg,
larvae and adult stages of stored product insects, which underwent testing at
the facility. Tests were conducted on Sitophilus oryza (Rice
Plodia interpunctella (Indian Meal Moth), and Tribolium castaneum
(Red Flour Beetle).
Criteria: Insect Selection
The three insects
selected for this experiment were chosen because of the problems they create and
the difficulties encountered in effective control in the grain industry. The
rice weevil (Sitophilus oryza) is the most common cause of problems in
the storage of raw grains. This weevil is one of the most difficult to
kill because it lays its egg inside the grain itself and seals it with a waxy
plug, making it difficult for fumigants to penetrate. Plodia interpunctella,
the Indian Meal moth causes the largest problems in stored products
overall. Not only does it damage the product, but the silk webbing which is
produced by the caterpillars can damage machinery. The red flour beetle (Tribolium
castaneum) is the second largest cause of problems in the stored product
industry. Compared to the common insects which traditionally infest museum
collections, textiles and furniture, these insects are challenging adversaries.
Materials and Methods
S. oryza, P.
interpunctella and T. castaneum species were obtained from Insects
Limited Incorporated, Indianapolis, Indiana. The eggs, larvae and adults
(depending on their stage of development) were transferred into Pyrex petri
dishes (along with their food source). These samples were put into the
vacuum chamber sandwiched between four feet of other material being treated by
Midwest Freeze-Dry, Ltd. The vacuum pressure was pulled to one-quarter
atmosphere. The insects were then exposed to a radio frequency energy field for
short pulsations totaling 90 seconds of exposure. Upon removal from the chamber
all insects had been killed; (i.e. no signs of life were observed). For
independent verification eggs and larvae were sent to Insects Limited
Incorporated to test for any further development or hatching. Insects
Limited confirmed that none occurred.