13.12.1   Damage caused by storage pests
The protection of stored commodities entails the protection of goods against spoilage by animal pests. Storage pests include beetles (granary weevil, rice weevil, copra beetle), moths (dried fruit moth, Angoumois cereal moth, European grain moth), mites (grain mite) and rats and mice. They accompany the goods from when they are harvested until they are processed or even to the point of consumption. They start to multiply before transport, continue during the voyage and do not stop even during storage and processing.
Storage pests have found themselves carried passively, i.e. by the means of transport, to completely new biotopes, where they have thrived. Originally from the tropics and subtropics, they have spread to temperate latitudes.
When a product is transported from the country of origin to the country of consumption, it generally passes through climatic regions which greatly favor storage pest multiplication.
It is the task of the transporter, therefore, to use his knowledge of the living conditions of the pests to protect the goods entrusted to him. These measures are very varied and include both preventive inspections and active pest control.
Storage pests cause a wide range of damage.
The following types of damage are of major importance:
  • damage to the cargo caused by eating
  • contamination of the goods by excrement, shed skins, webs/gossamer, laid eggs, live and dead pests
  • one pair of granary weevils may produce approximately 4,000 offspring a year, which will between them eat 4 kg of cereals and contaminate 4,000 - 40,000 kg of cereals
  • promotion of microbial spoilage
  • the chewing damage caused by pests brings about increased respiration in goods of vegetable origin and this, associated with the metabolic activity of the pests themselves, promotes evolution of heat and moisture, which in turn provide favorable living conditions for molds and subsequently, at very high moisture levels, possibly also for bacterial growth
  • transportation of diseases and the consequent impairment of quality and/or disinfection costs
  • financial burden caused by the fumigation required and the associated time losses for the transporter

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