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How do I keep insects out of stored grain?

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A

Homeowners can freeze grains to control insects. To control insects by freezing, place 1 to 15 pounds of grain in a medium to heavy plastic bag and place in freezer for 2-3 days. After removing bag from freezer leave grain in a warm room for 24 hours to allow grain to dry from condensation.

If you have large amounts of grain you can use dry ice fumigation. In a 5-gallon bucket place 3 to 4 inches of grain in the bottom, spread 2 ounces of dry ice on the 3 to 4 inches of grain. After the ice is added, fill the container with grain to desired depth. Allow approximately 30 minutes for the ice to vaporize (evaporate) before placing the lid tightly on the container. You can place the lid ajar over the container during the 30 minute evaporation phase. After evaporation the lid must be fit air-tight to remain effective.

Note: Freezing and dry ice will control adult and larval stage insects, but not eggs. You may have to use multiple freeze cycles until no further insect activity is observed.

Posted on 13 Sep 2006

Pauline Williams
Family & Consumer Sciences and 4-H Agent, Salt Lake County

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