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Pheromones and kairomones for control of stored product pests

Insect damage has in all times been a large problem for stored food and other organic products, both in homes and in industrial buildings. Several chemical insecticides have been or will be banned for health or environmental reasons. This means that insect problems can be expected to increase, and new, efficient, but environmentally friendly, methods have to be developed.

In this project we investigate how pheromones or food odours can be used to improve detection and monitoring, as well as, control of some important indoor-pest insects. Main emphasis has been on three common moth species, Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella), Mediterranean flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella) and almond moth (Ephestia cautella). Also confused flour beetle (Tribolium confusum), greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella) and dry bean beetle (Acanthoscelides obtectus) are investigated as well as the parasitoid Bracon hebetor.

Our studies on pheromone-based population suppression of three moth species, using the mating disruption method, have contributed to a commercial product registered in North America and marketed by Whitmire Microgen in St. Louis.

A flour mill, typical environment for Mediterranean flour moth, Ephestia kuehniella. Photo: Erling Jirle.

Recent publications

Page Manager:


  • Mistra (The Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research) through the programme BIOSIGNAL