Mites are common pests in grain storages and mostly occur in damp or moist grain. They are not easily seen because they are the size of dust specks. Mites are not insects (which have six legs) but are related to spiders having eight legs.
At present “things are all right in store” however from now onwards they can begin to become apparent in many stores.
Why? Conditions will have been favourable, mites multiply well under high humidity conditions (over 65% RH) Where temperatures are high enough a mite completes its life cycle in 8-12 days and a maximum population growth of 500 times per month can occur.
Control starts with good hygiene
Strict hygiene practices in and around grain storage and handling areas are essential for control.
Clean grain storages and handling equipment before handling and bringing new grain into store.
Thoroughly empty and then clean all storage facilities.
Remove and destroy anything unwanted from the grain store or storage areas
Destroy by burning or burying.
Do not keep or handle last year’s crop in the same facilities as these years.
Manage Temperature and Moisture
Because of their need for warm, moist conditions, mite numbers can be kept low by: -
Reducing temperature below 20 degrees C, for example by aeration, or reducing moisture below 55% relative humidity or 12% moisture for cereal grains, for example by drying.