Types of Insect Pests

About 30 species of insect commonly infest food aid grain and grain products. Most insect pests are either beetles or moths. In addition to insects, the only other invertebrates that are commonly found in stored food are mites. These are difficult to see as they are often less than 0.5 mm long; unlike insects they have eight legs and lack both wings and antennae

Insects that attack cereals and grain pulses are usually divided into two groups:

Primary pests

Primary pests attack and breed in previously undamaged cereal grains and pulses. They also feed on other solid but non-granular commodities, but they are rarely successful on milled or ground foodstuffs. Primary pests are usually more destructive than secondary pests, especially in short-term storage.

Secondary prests

Secondary pests are able to attack only materials that have been previously damaged either by other pests (primary pests) or by poor threshing, drying and handling. They also attack processed commodities such as flour and milled rice, where they may form the majority of insects present.