Controlling Insects in Grain Silo

insects grain siloD.W. Johnson and L.H. Townsend, Extension Entomologists of University of Kentucky College of Agriculture have presented an article on Controlling Insects in Stored Grain, which mentioned that over 50% of the grain produced in Kentucky of United States is held in a silo for some period of time. Some storage periods of 12 months or longer.

In this, we believed its a common problem faced by most feed and grain farmers and producers around the world.

Grain improperly handled or stored longer than 6 months could be spoiled by excess moisture, high temperature, and can be infested by insects. Preventing insect problems in grain silo requires 3 steps.

1) Sanitation

An effective sanitation program can reduce the chance of having problems with insects.

  • Equipment should be kept clean.
  • Empty the silos of all residual grain, then use shovels, brooms and industrial vacuums to complete the job.
  • The area immediately surrounding the silos should be kept clean.
  • Store only clean, dry grain.

2) Protection

In empty silos, apply a coarse spray of an approved insecticide to run-off at least 2 weeks before binning. Including under false floors and vents, cracks around doors and vents.

  • Fumigants are gases that penetrate the grain and kill insects both on and in the grain.
  • Several factors are important in assuring successful fumigation.
  • Fumigation failures can usually be attributed to insufficient fumigant, storage structure, moisture, and temperature.
  • Fumigants are inherently dangerous and should be applied only by trained operators.
  • Refer to the training material developed by the manufacturer.

3) Inspection

Inspections allow early detection of problems and enable corrective action to be taken before the damage becomes severe. One of the methods is by using probe traps for insects.