Insect-Free Tobacco Exports From the Tropics
  Key Words  
  Lasioderma serricorne, warehousing, fumigation, pheromone trapping
  Michael P Kelly
  For many years exports from India, in common with most other countries supplying tobaccos, were commonly found to be infested with the tobacco or cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne, on arrival in the United Kingdom. In most cases this resulted in re-fumigation before the shipments were allowed inside the cigarette factories. This paper deals with the methods used to achieve a zero-infestation status in very large annual tobacco exports, thus saving significant annual re-fumigation costs to the exporter, explains a fully tested and auditable storage and transport system guaranteeing freedom from tobacco beetles, and shows that insect free infestable commodities can be sourced from a tropical region. The main subjects covered include warehouse structural improvements and quality, hygiene schedules, flying insect proofing, tobacco beetle detection and trapping, timing of activities and the development of operational standards as Practical Protocols, which formed the basis of a complete manual for the export division of the company. The result after three years of development was an auditable system actually delivering very large tonnages of containerised beetle-free semi-processed tobacco exports.