Tips & Tricks: Stored product pests & the economy


November 14, 2012

Editor’s Note: In several fall 2012 issues of our weekly enewsletter Buzz Online, we highlighted stored product pest control tips and tricks from supplier experts. These tips also appeared in an abbreviated format in the May 2012 print issue.

By Doug VanGundy
Central Life Sciences, Director of Technical Services

Stored product pests are a costly nuisance that can be detrimental to U.S. agriculture. These insects live in dried products such as fruits, grains, nuts, vegetables and flour. The pests affect not only the food they seek refuge in and eat, but facilities as well by spreading contaminated product throughout the entire processing/distribution center or residential account.

Controlling stored product pests in the home can be quite challenging and time-consuming, which is why customers should seek the assistance of pest management professionals (PMPs).

The Top 4 most common stored product pests are the lesser grain borer, sawtoothed grain beetle, confused flour beetle and Indianmeal moth (IMM). These destructive pests attack grains and other products from all angles by feeding externally, laying eggs inside the kernels and creating barriers such as webs that do not allow the product to receive proper aeration.

PMPs must stress to customers how important it is to properly prepare before a stored product pest treatment. The outcome of treatment is dependent on the prep work customers do before any products are applied. If they are diligent with the following, the likelihood of success increases:

  • Completely clear all cupboards of dishes and food.
  • Place all food in refrigerator.
  • Inspect all dried products for infestation; if infested, place in freezer for at least one week.
  • Place all uncontaminated dried foods in plastic containers with airtight lids.
  • Vacate the premises during service, and do not re-enter until four hours after treatment.

PMPs can effectively control stored product pests through the use of insect growth regulators (IGRs). An IGR interrupts the insect’s life cycle, and is powerful enough to help prevent future infestations that can cost customers revenue.

Leave A Comment

Comments are closed.