Common Stored Product Pests and How to Manage Them

A common stored product pest

Grain and other stored products have been prone to pest infestation for as long as they have been around. We’re talking thousands of years back, when the Sumerians did whatever they could at the time to protect their crops from unwanted insects. As has always been the case, no matter what age we’re in, the key to controlling pests in stored products is to equip yourself with enough knowledge, and to focus on prevention, rather than treatment. Once you know the pest you’re dealing with, it can be a lot easier to stop them from breeding and growing in your stored products. 


Common Stored Product Pests

A couple of common stored product pests that you might encounter — especially in a commercial operation — include the confused flour beetle, granary weevil, rice weevil, tobacco beetle and various types of warehouse moths. These have different food preferences and thrive in alternative habitats. Once you can identify which pests are more common to the type of product you’re storing, it’s possible to learn more about their life cycles, feeding stages and how you can spot them and prevent their eggs from growing. 


How To Manage These Pests

As we’ve already mentioned, prevention is the best way to manage these pests in your stored products. If you can avoid them getting in to begin with, you’ll have half the battle won. Proper sanitation is one of the best preventative measures you can take, and having a system in place that ensures this happens across the board to all your stored products is a great way to stop the problem from arising in the first place. Take grains, for example. It’s never a good idea to put newly harvested grain into bins that still have old grain. The likelihood of cross-contamination is high, so manage one batch at a time to reduce the risks of passing eggs or insects from crop to crop. 


An insect contaminating a wheat crop


Applying The Idea At Home

If you’re wondering about doing so outside of a commercial setting (at home), you can apply similar principles of thinking to avoid pests getting into stored products inside your cupboards. If you’ve bought packets of spices and flour, for instance, you may want to keep them in the freezer for a few days after you’ve bought them. This kills all larvae and eggs inside the packet and prevents further infestations. The same can be done with flour, corn meal, oats and more. Prevention is the best way to go about keeping the products sanitary, especially if they are items that will be stored in the kitchen for an extended period of time. 


Professional Pest Control Evaluations

If a pest problem is popping up regularly at home, or you just can’t shake the issue from your commercial operations, the Bidvest Steiner team can help with a professional pest control evaluation. This will tell you exactly what you need to be doing, and we’ll even go so far as to suggest the appropriate services that can help solve the problem sooner rather than later. 

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