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Pests in imported grain (April 2014)

In the last fortnight, Tasmanian Seed Services Laboratory has picked up a significant increase in the number of live pests in samples of imported grain submitted by Quarantine Tasmania taken from large tonnage imports of stock feed grain.

The pests that have been identified in large numbers are: Oryzaephilus surinamensis (saw-toothed grain beetle), Tribolium castaneum (rust red flour beetle), Cryptolestes ferrugineus (rust red grain beetle), Rhyzopertha dominica (lesser grain borer) and Sitophilus oryzae (rice weevil).

These beetle species are already present in Tasmania so are not quarantinable pests. However , they are all considered to be major pests of stored grain and could cause significant economic damage if left untreated for an extended period of time. Other cereals, oilseeds and dried processed foods of vegetable origin in the vicinity of storage areas containing these pests are also at risk of infestation.

Grain store managers are advised to monitor all imported feed grain for these pests, and take appropriate action to reduce economic damage.

For more information and pictures of the specific grain pests, visit the PaDIL website.