Use of sulfuryl fluoride in the management of strongly phosphine-resistant insect pest populations in bulk grain storages in Australia
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Sulfuryl fluoride (SF), an effective structural fumigant, is registered recently as Profume™ for controlling insect pests of stored grains and processed commodities. Information on its effectiveness in disinfestation of bulk grain, however, is limited. The ongoing problem with the strong level of resistance to phosphine has been addressed recently through deployment of SF as a ‘resistance breaker’ in bulk storages in Australia. This paper discusses important results on the efficacy of SF against key phosphine- resistant insect pests, lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominca, red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae and the rusty grain beetle, Cryptolestes ferrugineus. We have established CT (g-hm3) profiles for SF against these insect pests at two temperature regimes 25 and 30°C, that showed that both temperature and exposure period (t) has significant influence on the effectiveness of SF than the concentration. Over a seven days fumigation period, CTs of 800 and 400 g-hm3 achieved complete control of all the target pests, including the most strongly phosphine - resistant species, C. ferrugineus at 25 and 30°C, respectively.
Results from four industry scale field trials involving currently registered rate of SF (1500 g-hm3) over 2–14 d exposure period, confirmed its effectiveness in achieving complete control of the target pest species. The assessment of postfumigation grain samples across all the test storages indicated that the reinfestation occurs after three months. Monitoring resistance to phosphine in C. ferrugineus over a six year period (2009–2015), showed a significant reduction in resistant populations after the introduction of SF into the fumigation strategy at problematic storage sites. Overall our research concludes that SF is a good candidate to be used as a ‘resistance breaker’ where phosphine resistance is prevalent.
Phosphine, resistance, resistance breaker, Cryptolestes ferrugineus, rusty grain beetle, bulk storages.