January 18, 2024

Learn about stored product insect pests (SIPs), their impact on food products leading to losses and pheromone traps for monitoring them in India.

The Importance of Monitoring and Control of Stored-product Insect Pests

Stored-product insect pests (SIPs) can cause significant damage to food and grain supplies, leading to economic losses and posing health risks to consumers.

Stored product insect pests can infest a wide range of processed dried food products, including grains, seeds, nuts, dried fruits, spices, chocolate, flour, pasta, pet food, cheese, dried meat, non-milk dairy powder, tea, dried herbs, and snacks.

Dried food products susceptible to SIP infestation:

  • Grains: Wheat, rice, corn, oats, barley, and other cereals
  • Seeds: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pistachios
  • Dried fruits: Raisins, cranberries, apricots, dates, and figs
  • Spices: Chili peppers, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger
  • Chocolate: Bars, chips, and cocoa powder

Other processed foods:

  • Flour: Wheat flour, almond flour, coconut flour, and rice flour
  • Pasta: Spaghetti, macaroni, penne, and lasagna
  • Pet food: Dry kibble, treats, and birdseed
  • Cheese: Hard cheeses, grated cheeses, and powdered cheeses
  • Dried meats: Beef jerky, pepperoni, and salami
  • Non-dairy milk powder: Soy milk powder, almond milk powder, and oat milk powder
  • Coffee beans: Ground coffee and whole beans
  • Tea: Loose-leaf tea and tea bags
  • Dried herbs: Oregano, basil, thyme, and parsley
  • Snacks: Crackers, chips, and pretzels

The Impact of SIPs

SIPs cause a variety of problems, including:

  • Economic losses: SIP infestation can lead to weight loss, reduced quality, and stored product contamination, resulting in financial losses for producers, processors, retailers, and consumers.
  • Health risks: Insect pests can produce allergens and harbour harmful microorganisms, posing health risks to consumers.
  • Reputation damage: Infestation can damage the reputation of food businesses and popular consumer brands and lead to consumer mistrust of their products.

Monitoring SIPs

Regular monitoring of stored products is essential for early detection of their infestation.

Monitoring allows for timely intervention and control measures to prevent further damage and product contamination of processed food.

Pheromone Traps: An Effective SIP Monitoring Tool

Pheromone traps are a highly effective tool for monitoring SIPs. SIP pheromone traps utilise pheromones, natural chemicals released by insects to attract mates or members of the same species, to lure and capture insects.

Pheromone traps provide several advantages for monitoring stored product insect pests:

  • Early detection: Pheromone traps can detect insect infestations before they become widespread and cause significant damage.
  • Species-specific: Pheromone traps are designed to target specific insect species, providing valuable information about pest types in storage and other areas handling processed food products.
  • Non-toxic: Pheromone traps do not harm insects or other organisms, making them an environmentally friendly monitoring method.

Pheromone Trap Placement and Monitoring

Pheromone traps should be placed strategically throughout storage areas, including warehouses, silos, and food processing facilities. If there is a suspicion that SIPs are present in other areas, pheromone traps can be used in the processing areas.

The number and placement of pheromone traps depend on the size and layout of the storage area, the type of products stored, and the known or suspected insect pest species.

Regular monitoring of pheromone traps is crucial for effective SIP management.

Pheromone traps should be checked and emptied frequently to assess target SIP

activity levels.

Pheromone trap count data can be used to track pest populations and determine the need for control measures like cleaning, heat treatment, fumigation, and removal of infested products.

Tips for Preventing SIP Infestations

  • Maintain proper storage conditions: Store products in cool, dry, and well-ventilated areas, as higher temperatures and higher humidity are congenial for SIP activity and proliferation.
  • Inspect incoming products: Carefully inspect them for signs of SIP infestation before storing them.
  • Rotate stock: Practice FIFO (first in, first out) inventory management to prevent food products from sitting in storage for extended periods, increasing their vulnerability to SIP infestation.
  • Maintain clean storage areas: Regularly clean areas to eliminate food debris and SIP harborage.
  • Seal cracks and crevices: Seal cracks and crevices in storage areas to prevent SIP presence.
  • Implement pest control measures: If infestation occurs, implement appropriate pest control measures, such as fumigation or insecticide treatment, to control the SIP.


Monitoring stored product insect pests using pheromone traps is essential for preventing food losses, protecting consumer health, and maintaining the reputation of food businesses.

By implementing effective pheromone monitoring programs, food businesses can minimise the impact of SIPs and ensure the safety and quality of their food products.

Recognising the need for SIP pheromone traps in India, Giridhar Pai Associates LLP (GPAL) has begun their distribution in 2024. 

GPAL is happy to announce the availability of the Storgard range of insect monitoring systems manufactured by Trece, Inc., of the United States of America.

GPAL is also making the Fuji Flavors Ltd Ecomone range of pheromone traps available. The Serrico trap is the world’s first and best cigarette beetle pheromone trap.

GPAL is confident that with the availability of the Storgard and Ecomone ranges of SIP pheromone traps in India, the Indian food industry has effective SIP monitoring tools. 

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