The word cereal is derived from ceres, the Roman Goddess of grain. The common cereal crops are rice, wheat, corn, oats and rye. The term cereal is not limited to these but also flours, meals, breads and alimentary pastes or pasta. Cereal science is a study concerned with all technical aspects of cereal. It is the study the nature of the cereals and the changes that occurs naturally and as a result of handling and processing.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Grain stored pests: Parasitoids

Alternatives to traditional chemical insecticides such as predators, parasitoids, microbes and natural products have been gaining interest among researchers concerned with developing integrated pest management (IPM) approaches for insect control.

Parasitoids are small to tiny animals that search for hosts that are themselves small or tiny animals in a very complex environment. Insect parasitoids have been shown to be effective in suppressing a limited number of pest species both in bulk grain storages and in food-processing facilities and warehouses.

One of the more effective parasitoids is Theocolax elegans, a small pteromalid wasp (1–2 mm) that attacks primary grain pests, whose immature stages develop inside the grain kernels, including the weevils, Sitophilus spp., lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.), drugstore beetle, Stegobium paniceum (L.), cowpea weevil, Callosobruchus spp., and Angoumois grain moth, Sitotroga cerealella.

The use of insect parasitoids and predators to control stored product insect pests has many advantages over traditional chemical controls. These natural enemies leave no harmful chemical residues.

When released in a storage facility, they continue to reproduce as long as hosts are available and environmental conditions are suitable. Unlike chemicals that need to be applied to a wide area, natural enemies can be released at a single location. They will actively spread, find, and attack pests located deep inside crevices or within a grain mass.
Grain stored pests: Parasitoids
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