Storage & Transport
Preventing insect infestations when storing grain
By Canadian Grain Commission
Sept. 1, 2015, Winnipeg, MB - As harvest has begun for Canadian grain producers, the Canadian Grain Commission reminds producers that insects could be present in any grain stored over the summer, or in areas around storage bins. These insects could move easily between bins and infest your new harvest.
To protect the quality of grain currently in storage, the Canadian Grain Commission recommends you:
- Sample the grain from the core at a depth of 30 to 50 cm (12 to 18 inches) from the surface. Insects are likely to be found in pockets of warm or moist grain. Sieve the samples or examine small portions carefully. Typically, stored product insects are very small beetles (less than 3 mm or 1/8 inch) that may not be moving. A magnifying glass can be helpful.
- For best results, your grain's temperature should be less than 15°C. As well, you should keep your grain at the appropriate moisture content, depending on its type (for example, wheat should be at or lower than14.5% moisture content).
- Summer surveys have shown that the lesser grain borer (Rhyzopertha dominica) has been found across Canada, particularly in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The lesser grain borer is one of Canada's most damaging pests found in stored grain. The Canadian Grain Commission has insect identification keys on our website that can help you. If you cannot identify an insect using these keys, call our Infestation Control and Sanitation Officer.
- Insects in your grain could be grain feeders, fungal feeders, or predators of these insects. By accurately identifying insects, you can determine the appropriate control method.
- The Canadian Grain Commission's website has advice on controlling grain feeding insects. You can also contact our Infestation Control and Sanitation Officer for further assistance.
- Make sure storage areas are clean and free from grain residues that can harbour or attract insects.
- If required, treat your empty storage bins with a registered contact insecticide such as malathion, pyrethrin or a diatomaceous earth-based product. Make sure you treat floor-wall joints, aeration plenums or floors and access points thoroughly. Note: Do not use malathion in bins intended for canola storage.
Controlling insect pest infestations
Insect identification keys
Lesser grain borer
Manage stored grain: Maintain quality and manage insect infestations
Moisture determination for Canadian grains
Tough and damp ranges for Canadian grains