I am currently writing a paper on infrastructure of insect rearing. On this WeRearInsects.com site, I have already begun some of my discussion about rearing infrastructure and what our rearing profession needs to improve infrastructure.
One of the prominent examples of large scale and HIGHLY successful insect rearing is to be found in the various USDA, APHIS facilities, including the Pink Bollworm Rearing Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.
The photos in this post are from the Phoenix facility, currently directed by Eoin Davis, and previously directed by Ernie Miller and prior to that Dr. Fred Stewart. The photos were provided by Dr. Hannah Nadel, a supervisory entomologist with USDA, APHIS. These photos depict just a few features of the incredible mass-rearing system that is used by the staff of the USDA facility to produce millions of pink bollworms to be used for sterile insect technique (SIT) and other functions to help control these most devastating cotton pests. The top left photo shows the adult rearing containers with PVC tubes collecting the scales, and the tops of the cages lined with paper for egg collection. The top right photo shows the eggs being dried out after being treated with anti-microbial treatments, and the bottom photo shows the diet production where freshly made diet (diet with a red/pink dye to mark insects from the APHIS facility). One of this laboratory innovations is the application of food science technology where the large twin-screw extruder is used to make large quantities of highest quality diet economically and safely.
This system is one of many USDA, APHIS facilities that deserves recognition and understanding by the rearing community, the entomological community, and the public at large, who are so well-served by these kinds of mass-rearing programs. Thanks to these programs (including the sterile screwworm program, and several fruit fly control programs), billions of taxpayer dollars are saved, and our world is cleaner, and our agriculture is more efficient!