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How to control flour beetle in an organic mill?

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ryllll

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Posted 13 October 2023 - 03:27 PM

Our plant has been having flour beetles issue for a month now.

 

We think this problem may have been introduced from our vendor originally, as we buy a lot of different materials from other suppliers to repack in addition to milling our own flour. We have checked our own production lines many times and have found no evidence of pest activity. We have also sifted many of our own flour and found no larva/beetle.
 
But anyway, now flour beetle has become a serious problem for our entire facility. We continued to find a few bugs sporadically on different products pallets in our warehouse. Then we thoroughly inspected every item in the warehouse twice. We discarded all infested products, froze the products that may have been affected (We don't have freezer in our facility, We can only send one truckload at a time to a nearby contractor who can freeze it for us). Also, we thought we found the source that infested severely and disposed of them.

 

However, after that, we keep finding more beetles on different products (outside of bag/tote), and some items we have inspected previously still got severely infestation later.

 

Our facility is clean and every operator keeps an eye on flour beetle since we got this issue. The pest control contractor couldn't find any concerned spot during the inspection. He also said there was no other measure that could be implemented, such as fumigation, because we are an organic plant.

 

I wonder if it is possible to perform any other large scale treatment. We really need to find a way to solve this issue once and for all.


Any suggestions on how to deal with the issue?

 

Thank you!

 



Brothbro

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Posted 13 October 2023 - 03:42 PM

I would speak with your organic certifier a bit more on the issue. Organic pest control can be difficult because so many substances are prohibited. But they do allow you to use these substances if you have already tried all the organic compliant ones and have had no success. The idea is that organic compliance is not worth having a pest infested plant. That isn't in the best interest of the people eating your food.

 

Speak to your organic certifier and ask them what their rules are for pest control. Bring them in on the issue and show them a history of the events with this beetle problem as well as documentation from the pest control supplier. If your pest control team -does- think this issue can be solved if they can use more effective substances, the organic team may be willing to approve of the plan.



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Scampi

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Posted 13 October 2023 - 05:20 PM

A couple of options (but check with your organic certifier first)   You CAN ask for permission to use other methods if you demonstrate the "approved" methods have not worked FYI

 

Diatomaceous earth (DE, silicon dioxide): DE is made from fossilized aquatic organisms called diatoms whose skeletons are made of silica. DE products contain mined diatom sediments ground into a dust. The sharp edges of DE cut the Page 4 Management of Stored Grain Pests in Organic Systems pest's cuticle, resulting in death by dehydration. Grain surface protectant/treatment. Clean the empty grain storage area of grain debris, then dust the bin walls, ceilings and floors through the fan system. Fill bins only to the height of side walls and level the grain before applying allowable surface or top-dress treatments to fresh grain to prevent invading insect infestations, especially Indianmeal moth. Top dressing or capping the grain in the bin will act as a protective barrier from migrating insects which enter the bin from the top. Check product labels for application rates. To manage invading insects, re-apply at monthly intervals upon their first appearance. In cases of severe infestation by moths, break up webbing on the grain surface before dusting and apply a second application within two weeks.

 

 

 

Pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is a broad-spectrum, botanical insecticide produced from flowers of the chrysanthemum plant family. Pyrethrum is primarily a contact poison and rapidly penetrates the external covering of insects. It is non-persistent and decomposes rapidly in the sunlight. For best results treat the bin when it is empty of product, to the grain as a protectant as it is put into storage, and as a surface spray once it is in storage.


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ryllll

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Posted 16 October 2023 - 11:42 PM

Thanks for your comment! We did use DE when we found bugs in the silo/coming out from cracks previously. However, we inspected many times and confirmed that we didn't have any flour beetle issue in our silos/bins or production lines. We keep finding flour beetles on the bags of products stored in the warehouse. A few bags may had been severely infested inside (most were purchased from vendors instead of produced by ourselves), and we disposed of them immediately. But we are still finding a few flour beetles randomly on more different pallets. That's why we are looking for a way to kill all beetles at one time without discarding all stock.

A couple of options (but check with your organic certifier first)   You CAN ask for permission to use other methods if you demonstrate the "approved" methods have not worked FYI

 

Diatomaceous earth (DE, silicon dioxide): DE is made from fossilized aquatic organisms called diatoms whose skeletons are made of silica. DE products contain mined diatom sediments ground into a dust. The sharp edges of DE cut the Page 4 Management of Stored Grain Pests in Organic Systems pest's cuticle, resulting in death by dehydration. Grain surface protectant/treatment. Clean the empty grain storage area of grain debris, then dust the bin walls, ceilings and floors through the fan system. Fill bins only to the height of side walls and level the grain before applying allowable surface or top-dress treatments to fresh grain to prevent invading insect infestations, especially Indianmeal moth. Top dressing or capping the grain in the bin will act as a protective barrier from migrating insects which enter the bin from the top. Check product labels for application rates. To manage invading insects, re-apply at monthly intervals upon their first appearance. In cases of severe infestation by moths, break up webbing on the grain surface before dusting and apply a second application within two weeks.

 

 

 

Pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is a broad-spectrum, botanical insecticide produced from flowers of the chrysanthemum plant family. Pyrethrum is primarily a contact poison and rapidly penetrates the external covering of insects. It is non-persistent and decomposes rapidly in the sunlight. For best results treat the bin when it is empty of product, to the grain as a protectant as it is put into storage, and as a surface spray once it is in storage.





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