2 ways to prevent damage from SPP


November 23, 2020

Pat Kelley, BCE

Pat Kelley, BCE, President, Insects Limited

Stored product pests (SPP) follow our food supply from farm to fork. In other words, they can be found right on the farm where the crops are grown, all the way to the forks at our kitchen table — and everywhere in between. A few of those areas include farm storage bins, transport trucks, food processing plants, food distribution warehouses, grocery stores and finally, in our own pantries.

You can expect them to be in whole or processed grains, seeds and nuts, or processed food such as cereals, pasta, flours and much, much more. The best way to prevent damage from these destructive insect pests is twofold:

1. Get to know who they are. Beyond Indianmeal moths (IMM), SPP can include cigarette beetles, drugstore beetles (Stegobium paniceum), warehouse beetles, sawtoothed grain beetles, merchant grain beetles (Oryzaephilus mercator), Mediterranean flour moths (Ephestia kuehniella), almond moths (Cadra cautella), tobacco moths (Manduca sexta), angoumois grain moths (Sitotroga cerealella), red flour beetles, confused flour beetles (Tribolium confusum), rice weevils (Sitophilus oryzae), granary weevils (Sitophilus granarius), red-legged ham beetles (Necrobia rufipes), lesser grain borers, and larger grain borers (Prostephanus truncatus).

2. Monitor, monitor, monitor. Most SPP have pheromone lures that make monitoring and detection quite effective. Strong fliers like IMM, warehouse beetles and cigarette beetles can be monitored using hanging diamond traps, whereas crawling beetles like red flour beetles, confused flour beetles and sawtoothed grain beetles can be monitored using a pitfall-style traps. New technologies in the SPP control and monitoring space is making it even easier to monitor and record population status.

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