Insect infestations within stored product facilities are a major concern to livestock and human food industries. Insect infestations in storage systems can result in economic losses of up to 20%. Furthermore, the presence of insects and their waste and remains in grain and stored foods may pose a health risk to humans and livestock. At present, pests in commercial storage are managed by a combination of different methods ranging from cleaning and cooling to treatment of the stored material with contact insecticides or fumigation. The availability of pesticides for the treatment of grain and other stored products is decreasing owing, in some cases, to environmental and safety concerns among consumers and society, thus emphasizing the need for alternative eco-friendly pest control methods. One of the potential methods is the use of ozone. Although the mechanism of action of ozone on insects is not completely known, the insect’s respiratory system is a likely the target of this gas. The main goal of this investigation was to determine the efficacy of ozone in the suppression of adult wheat weevils Sitophilus granarius
. In the experiments conducted, different durations of ozone exposure were tested. In addition to ozone toxicity, the walking response and velocity of wheat weevils were investigated. The results showed the harmful effects of ozone on these insects. In addition to mortality, ozone also had negative effects on insect speed and mobility. The efficiency of the ozone treatment increased with increasing ozone exposure of insects. The ability of ozone to reduce the walking activity and velocity of treated insects is a positive feature in pest control in storage systems, thereby reducing the possibility of insects escaping from treated objects. The results of this investigation suggest that ozone has the potential to become a realistic choice for suppressing harmful insects in storage systems for humans and livestock, either alone or as a complement to other control methods.
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