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Hi, I wonder if I can tax your brain over the heating situation. My bins have a floor area of 15”x24” and height of 7”. They are stacked in two tiers of 3 giving a total height of 23” with spacers. They are in the garage but are fortunate enough to be closely enclosed on three sides by insulated walls. I have one double tier lot on a shelf and a further double tier lot below (currently only two high). With the onset of autumn I turned on the heating which consists of one red heating lamp above each double tier. This is giving a temperature between 60 and 70 during the below zero temperature at night. Since I understand that these creatures do not like the light I am wondering if this is actually the wrong sort of heating source. If this is likely to have a negative effect perhaps someone could offer me some advice on what to use as an alternative. I did look at these heating pads but would one pad under each tier be sufficient?



  • edited November 2016

    Are you talking about infra-red lamps? If it is directly radiating on a surface with live bugs I suggest moving it to point elsewhere so that it heats surrounding air only.

    Am typing on tablet so not convenient to fully cite references of how infra-red is used for stored food bug control. A lot of research goes into killing insects with infra-red trying to determine heat dose/time/method; for example on the grain beetle Tribolium confusum =

    An old German study found the specific infra-red wavelength of 715 nm had more detrimental impact than 780 nm wavelength on the pupae of the house fly. Flash of those wavelengths just before emergence from pupation reduced the fertility of some of those emerging adults & could kill some adult house flies.

    While 715 & 780 nm flashes on the very first day of house fly pupation resulted in some deaths, the next 2 days the pupae were generally more resilient to the infra-red. Mortality, although less than on 1st day, again rose for 4th day house fly pupae in response to infra-red.

    The stage of the insect seems to be relevant to how it reacts to infra-red wavelenths. If they have a layer of substrate between them & the incident of direct exposure that seems to offer protection. Larvae that burrow under their feed are probably safer than any pupae at their more vulnerable age lying on the surface.

  • edited November 2016

    There are 5 volt USB port compatible fabric heaters & flexible silicone heater patches/belts designed to run on 12 Volt, 110 & 220 Volts are sold on eBay. You don't neccessarily need to bottom heat a bin; the internal bin temperature is often normally higher than the surface air. Maybe your layout would allow side placement near lowest bin & you'd get rising heat along top bin sides too.

  • Thank you gringojay. The lamps I am using are described as basking lamps used for reptiles etc. Good advise about the heating patches sine the layout does, indeed, allow side placement on the walls.

  • Now got a small 4 watt pad for £7.00 from Ebay and using it against the beetle container. I have a thermometer in the container only reading 61 degrees which is not much different to the temp outside the box. However, I have noticed that the large majority of beetles have migrated to the immediate area of the pad so it must be giving off SOME heat. Have to admit I am worried about the possible damage the heating lamp was doing so I may consider another larger pad in the near future, maybe 7 or 8 watt.

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