Controlling insects in the food supply is a pesky problem. To help food manufacturers which face increased restrictions on pesticide use, pest control alternatives are under development.
Insect growth regulators, or IGRs, are normally non-toxic to humans, but lethal to bugs. In lab tests, insects were released on concrete sprayed with the IGR hydropene. Most insects failed to molt to the adult stage, and those that did mature were deformed and quickly died.
Researchers claim IGRs could be an effective weapon against milled grain and packaged-food pests such as Tribolium confusum, also known as the confused flour beetle.