Things You'll Need
Grain humidity meter
Airtight grain storage bins
Feed yourself or your livestock for weeks, even months, by storing homegrown corn. Unfortunately, dried field corn can be a tasty meal for the numerous weevils, beetles and other bugs that thrive on stored grain. Take proactive measures to kill bugs in your dried corn to keep it in tiptop shape.
Kill bugs that are present among the corn before the corn is harvested for drying and storage. This may drastically cut back on bug eggs and larvae in the stored grain. The University of Florida recommends systemic in-furrow insecticides available on the market. Insecticides can help control foliar and soil pests that can become troublesome right before threshing.
Use a grain humidity meter, available from many feed stores and farm supply outlets, to ensure the corn is dried. Moisture may encourage grain rot, mold growth and the hatching of dormant insect eggs. The University of Florida recommends drying corn to a moisture level of 13 percent before storing.
Store the corn only in clean, airtight containers to prevent the introduction of new bugs into the dried corn during the packing process. If you select a previously used bin, wash and dry it before reusing.
Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth powder into the stored corn. The powder is available from some health food stores and most farm supply outlets. Mix the corn to evenly distribute the powder. The powder naturally kills bugs without damaging the corn or harming humans or livestock. Use 1.4 grams of diatomaceous earth for every pound of corn.
Keep the dried corn at a low temperature as an alternative to diatomaceous earth. Place the stored grain in a refrigerator and bring the temperature down to 0 degrees F for four days. This will kill most of the bugs present in the dried corn.
Inject the stored grain with carbon dioxide gas. This is typically done by commissioning the services of a pest control company, as the gas and tools are industrial products not usually available to the home user. Carbon dioxide will quickly and naturally kill any insects in your stored corn.
Dust the area that stores your corn bins with diatomaceous earth as a preventative anti-bug strategy.
- University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: Controlling Insects in Stored Grain
- "All-American Waves of Grain: How to Buy, Store and Cook Every Imaginable Grain;" Barbara Grunes, et al.; 1997
- University of Florida: Field Corn Production Guide
- National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: Stored Grain Pest Management