The Tobacco beetle, Lasioderma serricorne (F.)(Insecta: Coleoptera: Anobiidae) is a major pest of stored tobacco and tobacco products, and it is also reported to feed and breed on a wide variety of durable stored food products. Furthermore, it causes at least 1% (US$300 million) cost of stored tobacco stocks per annum.  They are 1/8 inch (2.0-3.7 mm) in length and light to dark brown in color insect. The newly hatched larvae feed heavily and show the longest developmental stage.  Though adult beetles are capable of flight and do not feed, create holes on the substrates to locate a suitable oviposition site. The life cycle may take 6 to 8 weeks to complete and is affected by both the temperature and humidity. However, the rate of development and longevity of the adult insect is usually dependent on the type and quantity of food consumed during the larval stage. Also, the carbohydrate diet seemed a better substrate for L. serricorne reproduction and development than oil crops, legumes and dried fruits. A lab-based task was studied on the biology of L. serricorne and its damage assessment in seven different plant spices in Bangladesh.


Control of Tobacco beetle populations around the world is primarily dependent upon continued applications of Phosphine (PH3). Generally, 4 or 5 treatments are done before the final tobacco process. Consequently, these treatments itself cost money, it causes an unexpected problem for tobacco sellers, tobacco users and other warm-blooded animals, environmental pollution, resistance by insects, and pest resurgence as well. It is also reported that this beetle is resistant to Methoprene. Besides, to control L. serricorne in tobacco products like cigarettes, gamma rays were applied to all stages placing them in gelatin capsules. As a result, no eggs survived, but mortalities of pupae, larvae and adults exposed to above 800 Gy were only from 0 to 30 %. During sex pheromone applications, a potential drawback in suppressing populations of Tobacco beetle is that these attract only male beetles. Interestingly, females of Tobacco beetle live longer than males by about 11 days on average. In summary, traps baited with sex pheromone and food plus sex pheromone were not significantly different, they were effective. Traps with food alone were ineffective. Naturally occurring substances are an alternative to conventional pesticides and plant essential oils have traditionally been used to kill these insects. Consequently, non-chemical control methods have become increasingly popular and sought as future pest management strategies. A study was performed to determine the chemical composition and insecticidal and repellent activities of the Artemisia mongolica (Family: Compositae) essential oil against L. serricorne and to isolate active constituents from the essential oil. For instance, purchase tobacco packages that are sealed and show no sign of insect damage; store all tobacco in insect-proof containers with tight-fitting lids. Properly ventilate the storage area to discourage these moisture-loving pests. Good sanitation is the best prevention and control for cigarette beetle infestations. After treatment, good sanitation and proper storage are keys to preventing future infestations.


Finally, alternatives are needed, and biological control may be one possible alternative. To search for effective natural enemies, especially parasitoids of L. serricorne will be capable of environmentally safe and efficient.
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