ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Prevent Storage Pests and Post-Harvest Loss of Food Grains

Updated on April 13, 2020
hmkrishna profile image

The author is a villager, M.Phil. in Botany, MBA Marketing, a certificate in IPR and farming in South India. Natural farming is his passion.

What are storage pests?

At the time of harvesting of the crops, if we can procure it, we can get it for a fair price. If we buy it during the off-season, we may have to pay more. This is due to two things. First is that the storage is a costly affair. Second thing is that during the off-season there is more demand. So, the demand-based price is always high.

One of the important thing during storage of grains is to protect it from moisture content. If there is more moisture, food grains usually rich in carbohydrates will ferment or get infested with microbes like fungi. organisms which are involved in degrading the stored food grains are known as storage food pests.

In India alone, due to storage loss, about 10 per cent of the food grains getting useless. It is around 14 million tonnes of food grain of about 70 million INR of value.

Red colour par-boiled rice
Red colour par-boiled rice

Types of storage pests

We are having different types of pests attacking food grains. These are ranging from organisms like the rodents, insects and fungi.

Among the various pests, important threats to food grain storage are the different types of insects. Insects hatch, breed and destroy enormous quantities of food grains every year.

The rodents, mainly rats also feed and destroy lots of food grains. This is not only feeding and destroying the grains but also making the environment very unhygienic. Due to such pest attacks, most of the facilities get destroyed and food grains become useless. This way food grain storage facilities are having a lot of loss due to pests.

Rice weevils in enormous numbers feeding on stored grains
Rice weevils in enormous numbers feeding on stored grains

Storage pest control

The pests arrive either through flying or entering into the storage area through air, moisture or surface. If the entry is blocked, our effort would be successful. Sometimes, the spores or eggs previously came into contact with the storage materials get life in due course of time and become a problem. So, store it pure and quick in airtight containers or bags.

Cleaning the grains and putting under the sun is the easiest method of disinfestation and it is the safest one also. After sufficiently drying they are put in airtight containers. Then chances of pest attacks are low. Quality of the food grains also one of the reasons for attracting pests. Sweeter carbohydrates, essential oil content, rich proteins, are all some of the reasons sent and good quality which are attracting the pests on to it.

Double layered and triple-layered plastic bags are effective to certain extent. Purdue University has introduced novel plastic bags to prevent pests. If these are stored inside wooden compartments, then chances of pest attack is very negligible. However, over the years due to weathering and wear and tear, pest entry becomes easy.

A number of chemicals and natural products such as oils are used to control the pest buildup in stored food grains.

Over the years these facilities give way to the pests unknowingly. Periodic check-ups and disinfecting activities are important to retain the grains pest-free.

Turmeric  powder sprinkled over rice heap for mixing
Turmeric powder sprinkled over rice heap for mixing
Turmeric powder and garlic mixed rice
Turmeric powder and garlic mixed rice

Paddy and food materials

Natural products against pests

There are a number of traditional knowledge-based methods and natural remedies for eradicating the pest from food grains. Here are some traditional and modern methods for storage.

  • Turmeric powder and garlic are mixed with rice before packing in polythene bags.
  • Castor oil is used as one of the resistant oil coatings on rice. This acts as a protective coating over the rice grains which repels the pests.
  • Plant leaves with insect repellent properties such as Neem, Vitex negundo, Glycosmis pentaphylla, Acorus calamus, Murraya koenigii, etc. are also mixed with rice and used as repellants with minimal effect.
  • Neem leaves and dried red chillies are mixed with rice before packing in polythene bags.
  • Instead of polythene bags, airtight polystyrene containers are also used.
  • Mercury based Paarad tablets are tied in the muslin cloth and put in between rice grains.
  • Fumigants are used to either put in a container or in the storeroom. These either kill or deter the pests from the food grains.
  • If the grains are stored in large open godowns, then heaps of the grain are properly covered and then over that contact insecticides are sprayed.
  • Sealing of godowns helps in preventing rodents.
  • Traps can be used to prevent insects by pheromones and rodents by cages or rat traps.

Use of any one of the above safe methods which have to be chosen according to the environment.

Synthetic pesticides

Pesticides such as chlorpyrifos, neo-nicotinoids, synthetic pyrethroids are very dangerous. Same is the case with fumigants such as aluminium phosphide against insects or bromadiolone against rats which put the consumers at risk.

Airtight polystyrene storage cans
Airtight polystyrene storage cans

Have you ever faced any problem for storing food grains?

See results

Ultimate food security

Health issues are the most important ones as far as we are controlling pests in the rice grains by using various pesticide products. Those who have the grains food either in raw form or in cooked form should not have any health issues. Usually, natural products after washing will not cause harmful effects. Prevention of post-harvest losses of food materials will save food materials and eliminate hunger from the world.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Halemane Muralikrishna

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • hmkrishna profile imageAUTHOR

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      12 months ago from South India

      Thank you Ms Cijini for going through my article and finding value in it. If someone finds it useful, my effort remains worthwhile. So, you may share it among your friends.

    • Dt Cijini Manoj profile image

      Cijini Manoj 

      12 months ago from Kerala

      Wow superb information sir....great one..surely sharing with my friend groups..

    • hmkrishna profile imageAUTHOR

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      12 months ago from South India

      Thank you for reading Ms Swati. Use the safe ones and remain healthy

    • hmkrishna profile imageAUTHOR

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      12 months ago from South India

      Awareness itself leads to safe consumption. So, thank you, Mr Prateek.

    • hmkrishna profile imageAUTHOR

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      12 months ago from South India

      Thank you, Mr Bharat Saran, use of harmful chemical pesticides are more in the stocking are and stores. Even at consumer houses for procurement from the mills it can be useful.

    • Kh swati profile image

      Swati Khandelwal 

      12 months ago from Nainital

      Very informative article.i also use pest control medicines for storing grains..nice

    • PrateekJain24 profile image

      Prateek Jain 

      12 months ago from Madhya Pradesh, India

      Wonderful article Murli sir, your have explained it very well. As i dont know much about this, but i sometimes help my mom to store the grains and safely in order to prevent them from moisture. I will definitely share this article with my mom as well. Thank you for sharing this valuable information.

    • bsharan12 profile image

      Bharat Sharan 

      12 months ago from Dhanbad

      Very informative article. It will suit our farmers more than anything.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)