Pests in the warehouse - DNA barcoding uncovers!

Especially when it comes to claims for damages by pests, identification must often be quick and above all accurate. As in the following case, in the summer of 2018 BIO-TECH was able to protect an important customer from high demands with the aid of AIM and our DNA barcoding service.

BIO-TECH Betriebshygiene GmbH is known throughout the German-speaking world as a competent adviser to the food industry in terms of pest monitoring and control.

A customer of BIO-TECH was accused of being responsible for small traces of feeding on the delivered product. The damaged goods were sent to the experts of BIO-TECH. Thorough microscopic inspection allowed BIO-TECH to detect small insect fragments identified as pests by the pest controllers. As ant experts are very rare and critical species are often difficult to differentiate, AIM was consulted as experts in the genetic identification of species.

The ants had already come a long way, the infestation was discovered in a warehouse in Asia. No ideal prerequisites for obtaining the DNA in the samples. Especially high humidity is particularly damaging to DNA - in general, moisture is one of the main criteria for DNA degradation.

In such cases our experts are particularly challenged in the laboratory. The standard analyzes usually reach their limits here. Thanks to our many years of experience, we were nevertheless able to extract usable DNA, obtain a clear result and thus identify the ant species.

The analysis has shown that the ants are clearly a species found only in tropical and subtropical zones. Thus, the customer was able to prove by DNA barcoding service that the pests could not have reached the batch in the warehouses at the production site. The producer was able to prove that his warehouse was not infected by pests and high claims for damages could be averted. By analyzing the sample with the DNA Barcoding Service at AIM, BIO-TECH was able to help a customer fend off an unjustified complaint and present himself as a professional partner once more.

DNA Barcoding thus represents a clever tool to respond quickly and safely in case of pest infestation and to clarify controversial issues such as cases of damage cost-effectively and efficiently.

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