Storage pests

After harvesting, pests that attack food, beverages, and animal feed during transport and storage are referred to as storage pests. Storage pests unfold their damaging effect on goods and raw materials, especially in storage facilities, silos and storage rooms.

If stored for a more extended period, there is often an explosive multiplication of storage pests. Pests such as flour beetles, grain beetles, khapra beetles, flat grain beetles, flour beetles, corn capuchins, bread or tobacco beetles, or even moths such as meal, granary or dried fruit moths cause considerable damage with severe economic consequences.

Possible damage from storage pests

  • Contamination of food and other goods
  • Contamination of the entire process by pests
  • Damage and downtime of production facilities
  • Grain warming in storage facilities
  • Formation of damp spots and mould
  • Violation of several legal provisions of food law

As a result, the infected supplies often have to be destroyed. Strict quarantine regulations exist in many countries to ensure that pests are not introduced into stored products. Regulations stipulate that control must be carried out before storage in still empty and previously cleaned storage rooms.

Economic consequences from storage pests

Due to the risk of contamination, any food that has come into contact with storage pests is likely to be spoiled and damaged. Households are likely to throw the flour or sugar in the trash can, but the financial losses due to the damaged goods are far more significant for businesses.

  • Heavy losses in high-quality goods and food
  • Production losses
  • Loss of confidence, loss of reputation, customers and sales
  • Criminal conduct

It is imperative to identify signs of an infestation as early as possible so that quick solutions and countermeasures can prevent the spread. The following signs can indicate an infestation of pests in food:

  • Live or dead insects.
  • Eating damage to food, packaging materials and other goods.
  • Traces of insects, larval skins, threads or webs.
  • Lump of cereal products, pink discoloured flour.

Fight storage pests

Find out more about the professional control of stored product pests

Typical hiding places or occurrence of storage pests

Storage pests occur mainly in dry products of vegetable and animal origin:

  • Grain
  • Bakery products
  • Dried fruits
  • Sweets
  • cheese
  • Meat and other dried foods
  • tobacco
  • Dried fish
  • Pet food