Entomology Research at South Carolina State University
Stored product Anobiidae cause significant damage to multi-billion dollar food and feed industries each year. The drugstore beetle, Stegobium paniceum (L.) and, the cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne (F.) are the two most common store products Anobiidae. These beetles are pervasive and common pests in South Carolina and the Southeastern United States. These insects infest milled products, packaged or processed value added goods, animal feed and processed spices. Often insecticidal compounds are applied as space sprays or aerosols to indoor floor, wall surfaces and cracks and crevices of flour mills, food processing plants, feed mills, warehouses, and grocery stores to control these insects. However, many organophosphate insecticides currently are being in use face an uncertain future and are at the risk of being canceled under the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act. Methyl bromide, a space fumigant used since 1930s to control stored product insects in the food and feed processing facilities, is been completely phased-out except for critical use exemption in the United States, under the amended 1990 Federal Clean Air Act (US Clean Air Act 1993) because of its adverse effects on stratospheric ozone layer. Therefore, food and feed industries are constantly looking for effective pest management alternatives, especially those based on non-chemical tactics that are environmentally benign.
My research is based on developing pest management tactics for stored product Anobiidae, by incorporating various options into a coherent package especially, by determining critical sources of infestation, habitats and breeding sites outside the stored product environment and focusing on reduced-risk innovative pest management strategies. My work further designed to provide a multi-institutional collaboration that allows leveraging skills and expertise of scientists, extension educators and stake holders in addressing the common problem.