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Storage pests of Sweet Sorghum: Warehouse Moth (Ephestia cautella)

Storage pests of Sweet Sorghum: Warehouse Moth (Ephestia cautella)

 

The warehouse moth is also known as fig moth or almond moth.

Nature of damage:

The stage of the insect that causes most of the infestation is only the larval stage. The larvae mainly feed on germ portion leaving the rest of the kernel undamaged. In bulk infestation, its damage is limited to peripheral top layers only. Web formation covers the bags, floor space and mill machinery thereby resulting into clogging in mills.

Grains Attacked:

Warehouse moths affect the grains of wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, groundnut and spices.

Identification:

• This insect is about 13 mm in size.

• The wings can expand to a width of 2 to 2.5 em.

• Wings are dirty white to grayish in color.

• The wings also have distinct black bands about 4 mm from the head.

• It rests with sloped wings over the body almost like the slanting roof of warehouses.

• The insect is nocturnal in nature, resting in dark areas of storage structures during the daytime.

• Usually the insect is active at dusk and dawn when temperature and relative humidity fluctuations occur, though it can fly during the daytime also.

Other information:

The insect has the capacity to lay about 200-250 eggs in 3-4 days time. The eggs are laid preferably in grains exposed at the sampling tube spots in jute bags. The larval stage is the most damaging, while the adult stage of the insect is harmless.

 Ware house moth - Storage pest of Sweet Sorghum

Fig. 1: Damage of warehouse moth

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