Seeking alternatives to probit 9 when developing treatments for wood packaging materials under ISPM No. 15

R. A. Haack, A. Uzunovic, Kelli Hoover, J. A. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


ISPM No. 15 presents guidelines for treating wood packaging material used in international trade. There are currently two approved phytosanitary treatments: heat treatment and methyl bromide fumigation. New treatments are under development, and are needed given that methyl bromide is being phased out. Probit 9 efficacy (100% mortality of at least 93613 test organisms) has been suggested as an evaluation criterion for new wood treatments, and is based on fruit fly research. We question requiring probit 9 efficacy for wood pests (insects, nematodes and fungi) and discuss challenges to meeting this requirement. Instead, we suggest a 3-step, laboratory-based alternative approach. Step 1 involves laboratory experiments (screening) to estimate the lethal dose for the most tolerant stage of each target pest. We consider each infested piece of wood as an experimental unit, not the individual pests, to avoid pseudoreplication. Step 2 requires replicated experiments (with no survivors) at the estimated lethal dose. We suggest a minimum sample size of 60 experimental units, which achieves 0.95 statistical reliability at the 95% confidence level. Step 3 entails studies under simulated operational conditions using wood samples similar in size to wood packaging material and infested to levels that reflect field conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalEPPO Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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