Mandan News

Preventing insects in grain bins

NDSU Extension Agent
By Jackie Buckley

Dates to Remember
Aug. 14 – Morton County SCD Meeting, NRCS Office, Mandan, 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 19 – Morton County 4-H Council Meeting, Morton County Fairgrounds, New Salem, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 21 – Morton county Fairboard Meeting, Morton County Fairgrounds, New Salem, 8 a.m.

Prevent Insect Problems in Grain Bins
The key to good grain storage is anticipating and preventing potential problems through good bin management. Before treating with an insecticide protectant, make sure that the bins are free of insect-infested grain. Leftover grain should be removed from the bin, and the walls should be swept and vacuumed. All grain handling equipment including augers, combines, trucks and wagons should be thoroughly cleaned and grain residues removed before harvest.

A residual bin spray, such as Malathion, Tempo, Diacon or a combination of chemicals should be applied to all interior bin surface areas two to three weeks before new grain is placed in the bin. The treatment will kill insects merging from their hiding places (cracks, crevices, under floors and in aeration systems). Also, insects crawling or flying in from the outside will be killed. Apply the spray to as many surfaces as possible, especially joints, seams, cracks, ledges and corners. Spray the ceiling, walls and floors to the point of runoff. Use a coarse spray at a pressure of more than 30 pounds per square inch and aim for the cracks and crevices. Spray beneath the bin, its supports, and a six foot border around the outside foundation. Treat the outside surface, especially cracks and ledges near doors and fans.

The increased use of metal bins with perforated floors for grain drying and aeration has helped produce a serious insect problem in farm-stored grain. Grain dockage (broken kernels, grain dust and chaff) sifts through the floor perforations and collects in the subfloor plenum, creating a favorable environment for insect development. Unfortunately, the floors are usually difficult to remove, making inspection, cleaning and insecticide spraying in the plenum difficult if not impractical. The infested plenum may be disinfected with an approved fumigant, such as chloropicrin.
Please see the 2014 North Dakota Field Crop Insect Management Guide for insecticides registered in stored grains.