6 Ways To Keep Pulses And Grains Safe From Insects

If you buy your pulses, cereals and other staple grains in bulk, storing them can be quite tricky, especially in the summers when humidity, temperature and moisture may play a role. There are some advanced measures you can take to make sure your pulses stay safe and pest-free but before you rely on chemical aid or any equipment, there are some simple measures which can make your job easier.

For instance, sealing all storage areas and entryways goes a long way in keeping insects away. It also reduces moisture. Regular monitoring and pest control are essential for identifying and addressing infestations promptly. Inspect stored grains and pulses regularly and you may also use traps for monitoring, which can help you store grains in large quantities. Here are some other steps that can help

Storage Containers and Conditions

Proper storage containers and conditions are crucial for keeping pulses and grains safe from insects. Airtight containers, whether glass or food-grade plastic, are ideal for preventing pests from entering. Metal bins with tight-fitting lids are also effective for larger quantities. It's essential to store these containers in a cool, dry, and dark environment to discourage infestations. Regular cleaning of storage containers is also necessary to remove any spilt grains or pulses that could attract pests.

Natural Pest Deterrents

Natural pest deterrents can help repel insects without resorting to harmful chemicals. Bay leaves, diatomaceous earth, neem leaves, cloves, and cinnamon are some effective options. Bay leaves and neem leaves emit strong scents that insects dislike, while diatomaceous earth works by dehydrating insects. Cloves and cinnamon have aromas that deter pests. Hermetic sealing techniques, such as vacuum sealing, can create low-oxygen environments that inhibit infestations.

Proper Cleaning and Inspection

Thorough cleaning and inspection before storage can prevent insect infestation. This involves sorting through grains to remove debris, damaged grains, or foreign objects. Inspecting for signs of infestation, freezing to kill existing eggs or larvae, and sun-drying to reduce moisture content are essential steps. Mechanical cleaning methods like sieving or winnowing can help remove insects or eggs. Regular cleaning of storage bins and equipment is also crucial.

Maintain Optimal Moisture Levels

Controlling moisture levels is vital for preventing infestation. Regularly monitoring moisture content and keeping grains and pulses in dry environments with low humidity are key. Preventing condensation and using desiccants like silica gel packets can help absorb excess moisture. Proper ventilation and avoiding water damage are also important aspects of moisture control.

Regular Rotation and Use

Regularly rotating and using stored pulses and grains limits the time available for pests to establish themselves. FIFO rotation, checking expiration dates, storing in small batches, and incorporating grains into daily meals are effective strategies. Monitoring inventory levels and usage patterns helps adjust purchasing and consumption accordingly.

Proper Sealing of Storage Areas

Properly sealing storage areas prevents pests from accessing stored pulses and grains. This involves sealing cracks, gaps, or openings with caulk or sealant, installing weather stripping, mesh screens on windows and vents, and door sweeps to seal gaps between doors and floors