Confused flour beetles are serious pests of stored grain products, and therefore, it is important to efficiently monitor and control their populations. Aggregation pheromones are commercially used for monitoring this beetle but their efficacy has been questioned and they may be inadequate for practical use. Food attractants as well as pheromones are commonly used for monitoring stored-product insects. However, food attractants may not be effective in the case of food handling facilities, which are already filled with food odours. The ancestors of flour beetles may have been associated with dead or decomposing woody vegetation, so we investigated the attractiveness of several wood odours to beetles using a pitfall olfactometer. The beetles were strongly attracted to all wood odours tested: Castanea crenata, Magnolia obovata, Paulownia tomentosa, Prunus jamasakura, and Zelkova serrata. The attractiveness of these wood odours was also stronger than that of the odours of the usual food of these beetles. Supercritical CO2 extracts of these species of wood were also attractive to the beetles. The Z. serrata extract was the most attractive among these extracts, and was further analysed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. One major compound, (−)-mellein, was detected in the extract. Synthetic (±)-mellein attracted the beetles.
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