Prevention better than cure for stored grain pest control

Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 13 Oct 2016

Hygiene is the first and most effective line of defence against insect infestations in stored grain and now is the time to get silos cleaned out and hardstands (paved areas) tidied up, prior to harvest.

Effective grain hygiene requires complete removal of all waste grain from storages and equipment.

This is the message from Western Australian-based Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) grain storage extension team member Ben White, who stresses that prevention is better than cure when it comes to controlling pests in stored grain.

“Grain residues in storages or older grain stocks held over from last season provide ideal breeding sites,” he said.

“Meticulous grain hygiene combined with structural treatments, such as diatomaceous earth (DE) (amorphous silica), can play a key role in reducing the number of stored grain pests.”

Mr White said growers should choose a dry day to wash silos and, once dried, they should use DE, commonly known as Dryacide®, as a structural treatment before closing the top and bottom lids.

“Most 70-80 tonne silos in WA only need about 350g of Dryacide blown in from the bottom with a venturi duster such as a Blovac gun,” he said.

Mr White said all grain and grain dust residue should also be removed from the storage site, including from grain hoppers and any steel silo support structures.

“Spray out weeds around the site, as any organic matter will harbour insects, and don’t forget to clean out your grain handling equipment,” he said.

Mr White said that at harvest time, growers should dispose of the first bagful of grain harvested and that burying it was a good option.

“Grain pests can survive in a tiny amount of grain, so any parcel of fresh grain or dust through the machine or storage can harbour insects,” he said.

“A trial carried out in Queensland revealed the presence of more than 1000 lesser grain borers in the first 40 litres of grain through a harvester at the start of harvest, and the machine was considered reasonably clean at the end of the previous season.”

More information about hygiene and structural treatments for grain storage is available via the stored grain website

Contact Details 

For Interviews

Ben White
1800 WEEVIL (1800 933 845)


Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827

GRDC Project Code PBR00001

Region West