The confused flour beetle is perhaps the most frequently intercepted pest of stored products. Adults and larvae feed on all cereal products, groundnuts, cacao, spices, dried figs and dates, palm kernels, various nuts, oil seeds, and cotton seed. Adults live for one to two years, are capable of flight in warmer conditions, and have been known to produce quinones, which at high population densities tend to trigger dispersion. Because they are such a common concern in flour mills and food processing plants with limited control options, experiments were conducted exposing confused flour beetles to gaseous chlorine dioxide.
The confused flour beetles were exposed to chlorine dioxide at different concentrations and at different lengths to see the effect of the gas on the survivability of the beetles. They were monitored for nine to ten days after exposure. While chlorine dioxide gas is not approved for pest fumigation, preliminary studies indicate that a dosage of 3000 ppm-hours is effective at eliminating all confused flour beetles upon completion.
Learn more about the efficacy and food industry applications at an upcoming workshop or visit us at booth #433 at the Food Safety Summit in May.