Post-harvest insect damage to stored grains is estimated to cost the U.S. agricultural industry upwards of $2.5 billion a year. Proactive prevention of stored grain insects includes the implementation of an integrated pest management program (IPM) and the proper application of stored grain protectants such as Diacon® IGR PLUS. An effective IPM strategy is to practice the S.L.A.M approach— proper Sanitation, Loading, Aeration and Monitoring to protect the quality of grain from insects.
If you find signs of bugs in stored grain, it is important to properly identify which insects are present to know the most effective means of control. Dust, odor and damaged grain are all indicators of an insect infestation.
Common signs of an insect infestation:
Sweet, musty odor in grain.
The lesser grain borer is known to leave behind dust and thin brown shells in grain, as well as a sweet, musty scent.
Rice weevils leave holes in grain and deposit larvae inside of kernels.
Dense webbing on equipment or grain.
Indian meal moth larvae weave dense webbing on the top 4 to 6 inches of grain and other surfaces. This insect is also spotted by the presence of adults flying near the grain or larvae climbing nearby walls.
Saw-toothed grain beetle activity causes grain temperatures to increase and typically have visible population build up.
For the most effective control of stored grain insects in the future, you’ll need to get ahead of infestations with proper prevention. This includes cleaning empty bins, performing pre-bin treatments and the application of grain protectants to the newly harvested grains as they go into the cleaned bin.