Pest Management for the Seed & Popcorn Industries


To establish an on-going, year-round pest management program to reduce or eliminate any damage incurred by insects, rodents, or birds. This would include both physical damage to the seed and the defacing of the bags that contains these high cash value products.

History of the problems

The seed industry in the United States is rapidly advancing in the manipulation of the genetic structures of plants in order to create varieties that will grow better and produce more. However, with all of this modern technology, most seed companies are decades behind in the protection of their products from stored product insect pests and rodent after it has been harvested. It is easier and more economical to save a bag of seed than it is to grow a bag to replace it.

I. Monitoring and Inspection

A. Pheromone traps

  • Indian meal moth
  • Angoumois grain moth
  • Grain Probe in bulk bins
  • Record keeping
  • Replacement of traps and lures

B. Glue boards & Mechanical wind-up traps and Bait stations

C. Visual inspection

  • Insects
  • Rodents
  • Birds

II. Building Pests Out

A. Insects
B. Rodents
C. Birds

III. Non - Chemical Control

A. Cold Storage

  • 50 degrees [F] with 50% Relative Humidity
  • Decreased insect activity

B. Lights- Low pressure sodium vapor lights attract insects the least

IV. Chemical Control of Bulk Seed Storage

A. Protectants- Corn, Wheat

  • In bins
  • Record keeping

B. Fumigation of bulk bins

  • 1. Wheat
  • 2. Corn
  • 3. Soybeans & Canola, etc.

C. Empty Bin Fumigation

D. Perimeter Control

  • Weed Exclusion
  • Perimeter Spraying


A. Where to spray
B. How to use
C. How often to spray
D. Spillage clean-up

E. Empty bin residual treatment

  • Tempo
  • Diatomaceous earth

V. Chemical Control in Seed Warehouse and Processing Areas

A. ULD Treatments (Ultra Low Dosage)

  • Pyrethrin BP-100 for moths, BP-300 for hard shelled beetle
  • Insect Growth Regulators
  • Choosing the right fogging equipment is important. Equipment producing 20 micron size droplets are ideal.
  • How often do you treat a warehouse ? When pheromone traps indicate the need.
  • Safety equipment to use - Respirator, Gloves, Long Sleeved Shirt, Head Protection

B. Fumigation with Aluminum Phosphide (Phostoxin)

  • Trained, certified, and experienced person
  • Safety equipment- SCBA, Gas Mask, Detection Equipment
  • Storage- Cool, Dry, Locked, Well Ventilated
  • Cold Temperature Fumigation (40° F to 50° F)

C. Magnesium phosphide

  • Degesch Fumi-Strip
  • Degesch Fumi-Cels<
  • Combination CO2 & Phosphine

VII. Rodent Control Program

A. Indoors

  • Bait Stations- Least desirable because rodents have seed as their established food source.
  • Wind -up traps are the most desirable
    • One time cost
    • Dependable catch
    • Up to 15-18 catches
  • Glue boards
  • Rodenticide
    • Grain based
    • Liquid Bait
  • Tracking Powder
    • Restricted use Pesticide
    • Safety- Least Desirable due to airborne particle concern
  • Store seed 18 inches away from the wall
  • Store empty pallets outside on a concrete slab

B. Outdoor, Perimeter Control

  • Weed abatement
  • Bait Station
  • Prevent standing water