STORED PRODUCT PESTS

Moths and beetles can wreak havoc on your food inventory, damaging product and costing you money.
SPRAGUE SOLUTIONS
Know your options for getting rid of stored food pests in grocery stores, mills, processing plants and bulk storage facilities.

EDUCATION


HIDE & SEEK

Stored product pests can be found in box seams, between bags and under liners or pallets. Indian meal moths often fly near infested product.

LARVAE

Seek out the source of moth or beetle infestations by looking for crawling larvae in potential food sources. Picture: Sawtooth grain beetle larvae.

 

PRODUCTIVE

Drugstore and Cigarette beetles may lay up to 100 eggs in their lifetime.

SMALL SNACKS

Stored food pests thrive in the smallest food sources. When spills accumulate in floor cracks, equipment, hollow posts and rack joints, look there for infestations.

DIY TIPS

Sanitation is the key to preventing stored product pests. Rotate stock and remove all out-of-code product.
Find the infested product and get rid of it. Use this table as a guide.
Pest Key Locations to Inspect
Indianmeal moth (and other stored product moths) Under the lids of storage bins, under and inside equipment, in unused equipment. Virtually anywhere there is an accumulation of product dust (or for some species, whole grains.)
Red and confused flower beetles In processing equipment, sifters, electrical boxes, floor cracks, screw or bucket conveyors, cracks in head houses and airlocks; under roll stands, pipe insulation. Often found in the joints of flexible connectors between equipment.
Warehouse beetles In window sills where dead insects accumulate, unmaintained insect light traps, electrical boxes and panels, sample retention rooms, and head houses of grain storage bins.
Cigarette and drugstore beetles In spices, dried vegetables, processing equipment, scales, unused equipment, unused piping, and conveyors.
Sawtoothed grain beetles In chocolate-production equipment, insulation of enrobers, cocoa storage, nut and dried fruit storage, equipment that processes rolled oats and other grains.
Lesser grain borers, granary weevils, rice and maize weevils Always associated with whole grains. Found in grain storage bins, head houses, and conveyor tunnels under grain bins.

By Jeff Weier & Pat Hottel, published in PCT Guide to Commercial Pest Management, Chapter 20: Pest Management in Food Plants: Dry Processing and Storage Facilities.

Proper food storage can keep pests away. Dry and cool climates reduce the risk of a stored product pest infestation.

Stored Food Pest Prevention Checklist

  • Temperature: Between 50°F and 70°F. The cooler the better.
  • Humidity: 15% or less. Consider air conditioning or dehumidification if needed.
  • Food Rotation: Date products and use the first in, first out method.
  • Evidence: Inspect goods carefully for insect evidence before storing.