The Forgotten Pests
It is estimated that about 12 per cent of the world’s cereal production is lost every year through insect infestation during storage. Infestation of stored product is not a recent problem for the “ Flour beetle “now commonly associated with stored products, was found in an Egyptian tomb of the 6th Dynasty, 2500 BC, and other beetles were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen.
Insects which infest products in storage belong to 5 orders, of which the 2 of the most important are Coleoptera ( beetles) and Lepidoptera (moths). Pests can then be categorized into Primary pests that is pests that infest whole grains and secondary pests that which infest processed grains. The most common primary pest being weevils and grain beetles and secondary pest being flour moths and flour beetles
Detection and treatment of these pest is important, having identified the pest and consulted the relevant literature the Pest Professional can consider how far he can apply this information. Control measures which are applicable in one case may not apply in another, quite a number of factors have to be taken into account. It is usual to consider control measures in 5 categories
Hygiene practices in warehouses, factories, mills, agricultural stores, cargo ships, road and rail transport, stacks and containers
Physical and Mechanical measures
High and low temperatures, cooling, heat as a control measure, air tight storage, centrifugal force and Gamma irradiation.
Widely used insecticidal chemicals, fumigants, sprays, dust, aerosols and smokes
Control of insect pests by their insect predators and parasites and by bacterial, fungal and virus diseases, also pheromone traps
Legislation aimed at preventing entry of insect pests
Stored product pests are widespread and due to their sheer numbers can be a serious pest in a lot of situations. Their life cycle is short and can take place in a small area, a detailed inspection is required to fully detect and treat these pests. So keep your eyes open to spot the tell tail signs of Stored Product Pests.