- While inspecting for physical problems, one should also test aeration fans and driers for functionality.
- Check belts, bearings and gear boxes for wear and proper lubrication.
- Check electrical systems for corroded connections and frayed wiring before harvest.
- Mice like to nest inside electrical boxes where they are safe from predators. They will strip insulation from wires for nesting material and their urine causes corrosion.
- While inspecting control boxes, be sure to seal any openings through which mice could get in.
- Be sure that guards and safety shields are in place over belts, chains and intakes.
- Seal all leaks and make repairs to the equipment before you need them to manage the grain.
- Once all cleaning and repairs have been completed, an empty-bin application of an appropriately labeled insecticide is advisable, especially in bins with difficult to clean areas and/or in bins with a history of insect problems.
- For empty-bin insecticide treatments that are applied as a liquid, allow a minimum of 24 hours for the sprays to dry before loading grain into the bin.
- It is preferable to have empty-bin treatments applied at least two weeks prior to harvest.
- Registered empty-bin insecticides include: Tempo Ultra SC (cyfluthrin), Storcide II (chlorpyrifos methyl plus deltamethrin), Suspend SC (deltamethrin), Diacon-D and Diacon II (s-methoprene = an insect growth regulator), and several pyrethrin products can be used to apply a surface treatment to the inside of the bin and provide a residual protection.
- Other products that contain diatomaceous earth and/or silicon dioxide such as Insecto, Protect-It, Perma-Guard and others may be utilized. Refer to the individual product labels for lists of insects controlled and application directions.
- If a bin is known to be heavily infested with insects, an empty-bin fumigation may be required to knock down insect populations before applying one of the above insecticides.
- The most readily available product for this purpose is phosphine gas producing materials such as aluminum phosphide and magnesium phosphide sold under a wide variety of trade names. Phosphine is an extremely toxic material and fumigations should be conducted by trained, experienced, licensed applicators.
- Another measure one might take to reduce the chance of insect infestation is to apply a perimeter spray around the base and up the outside walls of the bin about 15 feet. This may only be necessary in areas where grain infesting insect movement has been observed on the outsides of the storage bins.
- There are several synthetic pyrethroids (cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, permethrin, resmethrin, etc.) that can be used for this purpose as long as they do not come in contact with the grain.
- Grain storage insecticide labels tend to change frequently. As always, check to make sure you are following the instructions on the product label and using the appropriate product for your situation.