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Kialla: Pest Control Information

04 Apr 2014

Pest Control Information for the safe storage of Organic Grains and Flours.

Kialla Pure Foods

It is important to remember that organic grains and flours are most vulnerable to pest infestation in hotter month, as they do not have any chemical residue protection against pests. The purpose of this overview is to provide general information about pests, how we control them at Kialla and tips to protect your organic grain and flour stocks. Following our recommendations below will help reduce the risk of product infestation.

Generally speaking stored grain and flour pests go through three stages - egg, larvae and then pupate into adult insects over a period of four to six weeks depending on their environment.

Kialla uses a number of ‘weapons’ to control pest infestation organically. The first of these is gassing silos with CO2. This is very effective on live insects however has only limited ability to control insect eggs with no residual effect once the gas has dissipated. CO2 is obviously not an option for the majority.

Our second weapon is cold storage of finished goods. We keep all finished product in coldrooms at a temperature of between 10 and 12 degrees. While this does not kill any insects it does ensure they remain dormant and do not multiply. Ideal temperature for pest egg incubation is above 20 degree C.

Our third weapon is general plant hygiene. All pests need a food source, so ensuring that flour and grain dust is regularly cleaned up ensures the life cycle is continually broken. Pests will breed best in a dark, quiet, stable temperature environment, which is usually the ‘hard to get at’ place in the storage area, therefore cleaning must focus on these areas rather than the easy to access areas.

What Products are most susceptible to infestation?

The level of processing to which a product has been subject will have a large impact on its susceptibility to pest infestation. Minimally processed products like whole grain may have microscopic eggs still attached to them, whereas these eggs will have been destroyed, in large part, by the milling process for flour.

So what can you do to help reduce the possibility of pest infestation in your organic grains and flours?

  1. Kialla advise that storage in cool dry conditions (ideally between 10 and 12 degrees C) is the most effective and efficient method to control pests in organic product.
  2. Ensure you have a clean shelf/product storage environment. Other products can cause cross contamination issues and inspection of packaging for leaks etc on arrival at your store can stop widespread infestation.
  3. While we all love the Kialla calico packaging, it does not provide any protection from outside infestation unlike our plastic film retail products. This uses a double layer film which prevents insects from being able to pierce the plastic to lay eggs on the product. Products in calico therefore require closer attention than plastic or paper and are more susceptible to infestation.
  4. Infested items can be placed in a deep freeze for three to four days. To improve the effectiveness of this treatment, alternate freezing treatments with a period of rewarming to room temperature.
  5. Stock control - ensure you employ a rigorous system of stock rotation to ensure older stock is moved on.

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