How to Kill Bugs in Stored Wheat

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Grain can be stored for a variety of purposes, including for human and animal consumption. Wheat can be stored for several years and still be fit for eating. An infestation of bugs will quickly reduce stored wheat's longevity. Common bug pests in stored wheat include grain moths, cadelle beetles and granary weevils. Homeowners, gardeners and farmers who are storing wheat can take several steps to both kill bugs in stored wheat, and prevent bug infestations in the first place.

Things You'll Need

  • Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE)
  • Refrigerator
  • Prevent bug infestations in the first place. Only use clean, airtight storage bins. If reusing a bin that previously stored wheat, wash out and dry the bin thoroughly. Make sure you are only storing dry grain, as moisture in the bin will create mold and grain rot while also encouraging dormant bug eggs to hatch.

  • Open the wheat storage bin. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE) into the stored wheat to kill bugs. The powder's microscopic edges will slice into the bugs and dehydrate them quickly. Use approximately 1.4 grams of DE for every pound of wheat, or six pounds for every ton.

  • Mix the grain to thoroughly distribute the DE throughout the wheat. Close the storage bin.

  • Refrigerate the stored wheat as an alternative to using food-grade DE. Bring the stored wheat to zero degrees Fahrenheit for three to four days. Refrigerating will kill most live bugs, but may not kill any dormant eggs, which may hatch when the wheat returns to room temperature.

  • Fumigate the stored wheat with carbon dioxide. The gas will suffocate any bugs in your grain and kill them. Carbon dioxide fumigation services are typically offered by local pest control services.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dust the interior of your wheat storage bin with DE as a preventive measure before pouring in the grain. This will kill any juvenile bugs that you may not have noticed.

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