Stored Product
Pest Control

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About Stored Product Insects

Found in mills, warehouses, processing plants, homes, and retail stores

Stored product insects are usually found living in products such as dried fruits, spices, flour, bran, peas, dried vegetables, dried flowers, grain, milled cereal products, dog food, nuts, candy, macaroni and spaghetti, cheese, and other similar items.

They are pests of stored grain, damaging about 10 percent of the world's grain production.

Stored product pests are also known as "pantry pests" that find their way into packaged foodstuffs.

The source of a stored product pest infestation in a home is usually confined to areas where foods are stored. The entire infestation may be within a single cabinet or single box of foodstuffs. Before any control methods can be applied, the source of the infestation must be found. This is not always easy and requires; looking into all cracks and crevices where food debris may be, checking inside containers of cereal, beans, peas, flour, dried fruits, and other similar foods. Pet foods and birdseed may be a source of infestation. Also, a sealed container may be infested on the inside and be loose enough for an insect to escape.

After the infested materials are removed, the contents of drawers and cupboards in the area should be removed and thoroughly vacuumed. A spray treatment can now be applied to all cracks and crevices in the area and items can be replaced once the product is completely dry.

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Insects of stored products can be separated into four groups according to their feeding habits. Internal Feeders: these insect larvae feed entirely with the kernels of whole grain and thus may remain undetected until adults emerge from the kernels. External Feeders: these insects feed on the outside of the grain. They may also chew through the outer coat and devour the inside. Scavengers: scavengers feed on grain only after the seed coat has been broken, either mechanically or by some other insect. Secondary Pests: secondary pests feed only on materials that are deteriorating, damp, and have some mold growth present.