How to deal with common household storage pests.

02.06.18 11:09 AM Comment(s) By Admin

Last week, we wrote about the pests of stored products, how they damage our seeds, pulses, flour, books, documents, and even clothes. Today let us see how to keep them away from our products.

Before implementing any control measures, one must understand the source of an infestation, i.e., where and how did the pests come from. The source of pest infestation in your household may have originated from an entirely different environment. Maybe from crop fields, machinery used for the processing, reusing of old sacks to fill new grains/seeds, means of transportation, and the list goes on. We must follow a few basic methods to identify and get acquainted with the pest to apply the right solution to control them.


Do have a regular inspection of the products so that you will be aware of the possible problem before occurrence (source, presence, and level).


If there is a pest attacked product, look for the type of pest, its nature and extent of damage it has already done. If the monitoring and identification are actioned correctly, you can easily choose the control methods for them. Go for all possible means to achieve good, cheap, and safe pest control methods.

Different methods of control


A simple and effective method is drying your stored products in the sun. Generally, seeds must be dried to a moisture level of 11-12% before storing them. It does not mean these seeds will be completely free from the pests until the last bit, but this may increase the number of days for which seeds can be stored safely as compared to seeds which have a higher moisture content.

Clay or red soil coat

This method is for pulse seeds. Before storing pulse seeds, you can mix the seeds with clay or red soil in water to give a layer of soil coat on the seeds. Post applying the soil coat, dry them, and store. The soil layer acts as a barrier layer to the insects to feed on.

Coating with oil

Any non-drying vegetable oil or other oils can be used for this purpose like coconut, castor bean, cottonseed, groundnut, maize, mustard, safflower neem, and soybean. Usually, 5 ml per kg of seeds is recommended. This oil coat acts as an egg-laying barrier layer for the pests.

Use of improved container for storage

Airtight and moisture-proof containers will help in keeping the pest out of the products.

location of storage

Store them in a cool, dry, pest-free areas.

Other than the above methods, we can also add some additives while storing the products.

    • Wood ash: Wood ashes of mango, tamarind, casuarina trees can be mixed with the food grains. Along with the wood ash, we can also use chili, pepper powder, pyrethrum, or Mexican marigold seeds to increase the protection against pests.
    • Lime: Mixing of quick or burnt lime 0.3% gives good results against weevil’s damage.
    • Sand: Fine sand mixed with seeds which are of bigger size (chickpea, pigeon pea) will give protection from pest as the space between seeds will be filled by sand and thereby avoid the egg-laying and insect movement.
    • A mixture of plant parts: Storing the seeds along with Neem leaves, crushed seeds and oil extracts, lantana plant, eucalyptus tree leaves, aloe plant (dry, ground and dust is mixed with grains/seeds), chili peppers (ripe, dried pods), sun hemp and datura seeds (NOTE: Datura seeds are poisonous, be cautious while separating and using the grains/seeds)

The majority of the methods mentioned above are applicable for smaller size quantities. For a larger quantity of storage, like in the warehouse for export and import purpose, one should give more importance to the warehouse location, using insecticides and fumigants, etc.

Happy Growing!


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