The best way to prevent insect infestations during farm storage is the use of good sanitation practices. Following are some important tips worth remembering that can help you reduce the risk of infestation and avoid the need for expensive fumigations:

• Carefully clean your bins before putting in the new crop. Vacuum residues if possible. Include the bin base, walls, conveyors, cracks and crevices. Remember that insects can survive in very small grain residues.

• Clean the area around bins, remove grain spills, hulls, weeds and trash.

• Clean combines, bankouts, trailers and all other transport equipment before and during harvest.

• Don’t store new crop on top of old grain. Grain that has been stored for a year most likely contains insects that will move to the new crop.

• Treat the inside and outside surfaces of bins, and the floors of the storage area with approved residual insecticides four to six weeks prior to harvest.

• Clean rice before storage. Rough rice containing large amounts of brokens and fines is attractive to insects. Presence of chaff, weed residues and seeds can also interfere with aeration and promote mold development.

• Before harvest, take the time to inspect your bins and surrounding areas to make sure you reduce the sources of initial infestations.

• After harvest, monitor your rice regularly, at least every two weeks during winter and weekly during spring and summer. Don’t let insects steal part of your hard earned profits.