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Proceedtngs of the 7th IntertUltuYnal Worhng Conference an Stored-product Protection - Volume 2

Pests in tobacco storehouses and their control in China


Cheng Xmgsheng, WeI chongsheng and Wang Fangxiao'
Abstract
Dunng storage tobacco leaves are often subject to many kinds of pests, thus suffer losses both m weights and quahty
Investigations demonstrate that there exist as many as 79 pest species m Chmese tobacco leaf storehouses, these species belong to
7 orders and 31 families Among them, tobacco moth (Ephest~a elutella Hubner) and cigarette beetle (Lastoderma serricome
Fabncius ) are the most widespread and harmful, and Tenebroides mauruomicus L., Attagenus piceus Ohver , Triboliurn.
caslaneum Herbst, L~POSCelLS bost17Jchophilus Badonnel sometimes also presents large quantity and causes certam damages.
Chemical treatments are the principal method m controllmg the pests The pyrethnns and DDVP are generally used to treat
empty storehouses. or to kill the tobacco moth larvae crawlmg out from tobacco to be able to hve through the Winter Some
factones utilize methyl bromide and phosphine for furmgation In recent years, It has been possible to make use of methoprene
due to the introduction of the threshmg and redrymg Today, there are' already three factones that adopt this pesticide that has
proved to be a successful one. Another, serncomne IS introduced to predict CIgarette beetle occurrence. Furthermore, the
mcreasmg extent of regroupmg m CIgarette mdustryand the technological switch from arnfrcial fermentation to natural aging
cause the growing amount of stored tobacco leaves. The chmbmg pnces of tobacco leaves made tobacco fuushed products more
expensive The Chmese factones are mcreasmgly aware of the Importance of pests control in tobacco storehouses and this work
shall see a great development m Chma.

Introduction
Chma IS an important tobacco producer With ItS yields of leaves and CIgarettes rankmg fIrst m the world. Therefore tobacco
mdustry exerts much mfluence on the economy of such a developmg country. As well as at field growth stage, leaves durmg
storage are also subject to various pests and consequently lose weight and Usablhty. In this article we
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present the general SItuation about occurrence, damage and control of the pests in Chma.

Occurrence of Pests of Stored Tobacco Leaves


Pests discovered in tobacco leaf storehouses, as mdicated an mvestrgation m 20 factones of nearly 10 provinces, mclude as many
as 79 species. of which 73 belong to 28 fanuhes, 5 order of insects: 1 to a farruhes, an order of Arachmda. Tobacco beetles and
tobacco moths are most Widespreadand most harmful Tenebrouies mauriianicus L, Attagenus piceus Ohvier , Tribolium.
caeianeuni Herbst, and Liposceue brotrychophLlus Badonnel also occur in certam regions m relatively large numbers and cause
certain losses.
Cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne Fabricius)
A lot of studies demonstrated that 20 - 30C and RH 70- 80% are most suitable for the survival and reproduction of the
species. Too high or too Iowa temperature or humidity inhibits ItS growth and development. China ISbroad and ItS chmate vanes
markedly from south to north areas South of the Yangtze RIver belongs to subtropical zone, where temperatures are much higher
m wmter and humidity keep higher all the year than m the northern part of Chma In consequence, CIgarette beetles occur
senously in the southern areas For example, in Hefei, Anhui Provimce, the number of generations per year IS2 - 3; m Changsha,
Hunan Provmce, 3-4; m Xiamen, Fujian Province, 4-5 By contrast, m areas north of the Yellow RIver, cigarette beetles can not
survive through the Winter Although the annual accumulated temperatures are enough for several generations, It ISrare for them
to occur m great quantities. Only m a few Circumstances, e g , when temperatures m spnng or m summer are relatively high and
adequate for tobacco beetles, pests earned on leaves transported from south Willreproduce qmckly and pose damages.
It was also found, accordmg to the mvestigation, that CIgarettebeetles occurred more severely on the leaves that had been
stored for 12 - 24 months Mter 24 months of storage, as a result of overalcohohzation and deterioration of some phYSIcaland
chemIcal properties of the leaves, growth and development of cigarette beetles was instead mversely mfluenced and theIr
population denSIty decreased to some
Hefel Institute of Econonucs and Technology. Hefel, 230052,
extent For mstance, the results of our studies in Hefei Chma
showed that for mIddle class leaves at one year, two years or 1402
Proceedmqs of the 7th International Worhng Conference on Stored-product Protection - Yoiume 2
three to four years m storage, the population densrties of cigarette beetles were 32.4 kg-
1,
matenal m manufactunng CIgarettes. Makmg high-grade CIgarettes need high quality leaves. Thus, damage by pests means not
only leaf weight loss. What ISworse, pests make cavities wlule feedmg and reduce YIeld of cutting and leave behmd a lot of
feces and dead bodies wluch pollute leaves and spoil leaf taste
Leaf weight losses
The Chmese General Tobacco Company has orgamzed two nationwide surveys of the damage caused by stored tobacco pests.
The results were as follows: (1) Leaves contmually lost weight dunng storage (2) Weight loss was especially sharp withm the
first two years, and then slowed down. (3) The average weight loss percentages m the whole country were 1.58% for fair class
leaves and 1.81 % for supenor leaves, at one year of storage. (4) Weight loss percentages may vary from area to area, smce pests
show taxis towards certam production districts (Table 1) It can be seen from Tablel , that leaves produced south of the Yangtze
RIver had higher population densrties and rates of damage ThIS can actually be explamed by the differences in leaf quahties that
leaves grown m areas south of Yangtze RIver are nch in chemical compositions and have large water capacity and thus can be
served as flavonng tobacco, while leaves cultivated in northern part, which have high fiber content and can be mamly used as
fillers to which pests show less taXIS and slower population growth speed. (5) Stonng locations also affect damage degree to the
same class of leaves (Table 2). For the M- 3 leaves produced in Henan or Yunnan, havmg been stored for one year in some
different places, the weight losses were the lowest in Shengyang, the highest m Xiamen, and displayed a tendency of aggravation
of pest damage or weight loss from north to south.
Calculatmg on the baSIS of the total amount of stored leaves in the whole country, of the distnbution of stored leaves, and of
damage rate, Chma loses 32.8 million kg of leaf weight every year dIrectly because of the pests, or 55.3352 mIlhon dollars,
whIch ISsurpnsmg
Influence on yields of cutting
Smce pests feedmg on leaves provoke a lot of caVIties on them, defect cut tobacco augment whereas YIeld of cuttmg reduce
The reduction degree of YIeldof cuttmg ISpositively correlated WIth pest population denSIty. Accordmg to an mvestIgatIon, the
reduction rate averaged 2.5 % m the areas south of Yangtze RIver and 1- 1.5 % m the northern regIOns.
Table 1. Pest population denSIties and leaf weIght loss of faIr class leaves of dIfferent production dlstncts (1991).
denSIty (kg-I) weIght loss (%)
I
respectively. After being stored for 4 years actually no beetle was found on the leaves. Besides, SIzes of populations vary WIth
production regions or grades of leaves. On leaves produced m Yunnan, Guizhou and other areas south of the Yangtze RIver, on
fair class and supenor leaves, CIgarette beetles occur severely.
Tobacco moth (Ephessia elutella Hubner)
Tobacco moth IS another pest with large sizes of population. It ISfound all over the country. The number of generation IS 3 in
Hubei and Anhui, 3- 4 m Guizhou, 2 in Henan. Temperatures and humidity mfluence much ItS development. Tobacco moth
larvae show weaker cold- hardmess than CIgarette beetles and can not survive through the wmter in northern part of Chma
The occurrence of tobacco moth also bears relations to such factors as leaf grades, stormg locations, stonng penods, leaf
moisture content etc. The adults have propensities in laying eggs, prefernng fair class and supenor leaves to mfenor leaves.
Population densities are higher on tobacco bales in the warehouses than on leaf stacks m the open. As to storage periods, the
number of tobacco moths IS the biggest at two years of storage The higher mositure content of the leaves IS, the more eggs there
are on the leaves. In accordance With our survey m three tobacco factories m Anhui Province, the average population densrties of
tobacco moth larvae m the three factones are 3.24 kg- I, 3.38kg-
197. 6kg -
1
and 980kg-
I
and 7.74kg-
I
respectively.
Other pests
In addition to the aforesaid two species, other common pests are Tenebroides mauriunucus Linnaeus, Triboliurn. caslaneum
Herbst, Attagenues piceus Olrvter , Liposcelis bostrychophilus Badonnel. But their SIzeSof populations are generally small and
theIr damage to tobacco leaves IS relatively mmor. For example, our mqUlry mto several tobacco factones m AnhUl Provmce
showed that red flour beetle and black gram beetle only accounted for 0.41 % and 0.39 % of the total pest number m the
storehouses.
Damage by Pests of Stored Tobacco
Tobacco ISa speCial kmd of consumer goods. People smokmg CIgarettes Wish a certain amount of mcotme to satisfy theIr
phYSIcal reqUIrements, and WIsh good taste and pleasant smell m the fume as well. Tobacco leaf IS the pnnclpal
HeIlongjIang Shanxi Henan Hunan Yunnan
5.8 21.4 29.4 157.6 139.0 1.14 1.53 1.47 1.84 2.19
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Proceedmae of the 7th lnternatumal Workt'ng Conference on Stored-product Protection. - Yoiume 2
Table 2. Effects of stormg locations on rate of damage by pests.
Henan M-3 Henan M-3 Yunnan M-3 Yunnan M-3 Density (kg-I) Damage rate Density (kg-I) Damage rate
Xuzhou 22.3 1.73 45.0 1.10 Chongqmg 26.0 1.15 438.8 2.26 Xiamen 38.2 2.27 68.6 4.76 Shengyang 0 0.25 0.5 0.14
Causes of the severe occurrence of storehouse pests

%
majority only sprayed DDVP, deltarmenm or other pyrethrins to extermmate surface insects WIthout satisfactory results. on an
average. In Chma the figure is more than 1.5%, because of: (1) Poor
Current Control Strategies and storing conditions and
insufficient stonng capacities of
the Future Development storehouses. For some
histoncal reasons the Chmese tobacco factories are numerous but small. Therefore the
In recent years, owing to the progress of China's economic
factones allocate lmuted financial resources m mtroducing or
reform, the degree of growmg m tobacco industry has
importing advanced cigarette makmg equipment. The
augmented, and technologically there is a SWItchfrom
mvestments on storehouse construction are so few that
artificial fermentation to natural alcoholization As a result,
storing conditions are poor and stonng capacities are
the amount of stored leaves has mcreased. Meanwhile the
insufficient. Presently most factories south of Yangtze River
rismg pnces of leaves enlarge the proportion of leaves in the
store their leaves in the warehouses, lacking seahng
total costs of CIgarette finish products. Under such
conditions and other pest control facihnes being bad. The
circumstances, the relevant factones pay more and more bulk
of factories north of Yangtze River store leaves m the
attention to pest control in storehouses. Measures taken are
open air. The result of the insufficient stonng capacities,
as follows: leaves of different penod laid in the mixed way
was that the
1. Reinforce storehouse construction and normahze pests
cross mfesting. (2) Packing matenal not up to pest
storehouse management. control standards. In Chmg,
tobacco leaves are mostly
The Chmese tobacco mdustry administrative departments
packed with gunny bags, few being packed with plastic bags
have set specific requirements and appropriate standards for
in combination with paper box packing. Compared With
storehouse construction. Now m the provinces south of
hogshead packing used abroad, our method shows no
Yangtze River there are practically no more open
prophylactic effects to tobacco beetle and tobacco moth.
warehouses In Hubei Province alone some 120, 000m2 of
Such being the case, it is very easy for pests to infest and
standard storehouses were built from 1996 to 1997, and the
reproduce. (3) Lack of strict exammation of pest situation
stonng capacity has been mcreased by 384 milhon kg, before
allocation and transportation of leaves, which IS
moreover, the newly built storehouses hold anti-pest gauze
favorable to pest diffusion. In making CIgarettes, different
nets and can be sealed for furrugatmg. Regarding tobacco
leaves have to be blended. Factories must purchase
management, new and old leaves are now put away certam
kinds of leaves from different places of the country.
separately; examination of pest SItuation IS mandatory
Without stnct examination of pest SItuation, pests may be
before leaf transportation; definite speculations have been
brought m with leaves and spread. For instance, m the
laid down in routme conservation of leaves. north-eastern
region of Chma it
IS
very cold in winter and
2. Introduce newly tobacco Infestation control method to
pests in the storehouses can hardly hve through the winter.
ensure safe stormg of leaves. But sometimes at the
transition moment from spring to
Methoprene is a kind of msect parahormone OH). Having
summer, pests do occur only because leaves introduced from
fed on leaves treated with lOmglkg methoprene, larvae of
south carried pest sources and then all the leaves in the
cigarette beetle or tobacco moth can not develop mto normal
storehouses got mfested (4) Laying stress on ehmmation
pupae before dymg. So far three Chmese factories have but
takmg prevention lightly. In controllmg pests of
introduced the technique and it has proven to be successful.
storehouses, factories chiefly rely on chemical methods.
But since the chemical can only be used on threshing and
However, limited by poor conditions and shortage of
redrying lmes, its spread is much restricted. Yet China Will
quahfied technicians, only a small proportion of the factones
set up about 100 threshmg and redrying hnes m its different
could use fumigating techniques m the past, and the
parts after the year 2000. ThISmovement, as we believe, 1404
Proceedings of the 7th hiternatumol Workmg Conference on Stored-product Protectwn - Volume 2
WIllpromote a wider use of methoprene. As for how to use other chemicals, many factories take DDVP and deltarmethrin to treat
empty storehouses, or to kill tobacco moth larvae crawling out from tobacco bale to hve through wmter Some factories choose
methyl bromide and hydrogen phosphide to fumigate storehouses, in order to mhibrt the development of storehouse pests, which
IS a success, too. Sernconme is also used to predicate the outbreak of CIgarette beetle by some factones.
It deserves to be mentioned that some Chinese factones, while treatmg cured leaves, seal them with plastic covers and put in
oxygen-scavengmg cherrucals. Cured leaves, of which water content IS 18% or so, are easy to go mouldy and to get mfested by
pests. Tills can be avoided before redrymg by the above-mentioned method.
Since tobacco mdustry carries weight on the Chmese economy, the Chinese government attaches Importance to ItS progress, e
g., found special scientific research mstrtutions and schools; create the specialty of tobacco stonng, in the hope of enablmg
students to grasp knowledge of routine management of storehouses, to master tobacco leaf production conservation and pest
control techniques. Trammg of this type of specialists WIll greatly change the present SItuation of storehouse technician shortage
and Will certamly facilitate the control of tobacco storehouse pests.