Managing for Profit

App that identifies grain bin pests


Managing for Profit copyA free app has been developed by Central Life Sciences that helps stored grain operators identify insects.

Territory Sales Manager Randy Scott says proper identification of insects in grain bins has been lacking.

“Grain insects have traditionally been called either weevils or bran bugs by people in the business.  So we put together an app for your smartphone, iPad or computer screen…anywhere you can get access to the internet.”

He tells Brownfield misidentification can lead to incorrect treatment and potentially major losses.

“USDA has generated figures over the years to how much these insects destroy in any given year.  It can be as high as 10 percent of the crop throughout the United States.  It’s higher in other parts of the world where they don’t have as good of facilities and they don’t know the cultural practices involved to try to keep the insects out.”

Domestically, he says the lesser grain borer does the most damage, but location plays a role too…

“There’s indian meal moth that cause what’s called webbing.  They leave behind some webbing material (in the grain) that makes it difficult to move the grain after that.  True weevils, the ones that are able to lay an egg inside the grain and then seal the egg in there.  The insect can then develop into an adult enclosed inside that grain and emerge as a full-functioning adult.”

Central Life Sciences offers a product called Diacon that Scott says takes care of most of the aforementioned insects, except for the weevils.

“They are able to isolate themselves from the effects of the Diacon.  So what you need is a contact insecticide.”

That makes proper identification critical, and the app features a menu item called ID an insect.

“What you would do with your smartphone is take a good close-up picture of the insect, and then there’s instructions on how to email that picture to our entomologist.  They can identify (the insect) usually within a day, and give you about a ninety percent accuracy on the ID; depending on how good your picture is of course.”

From there Central Life Sciences can recommend the proper treatment.  The free app  can be found at







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