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Flour beetles are the arch-enemy of flour processing plants. This nuisance of a bug can easily spread from product to product. This results in bad odors and destroying the integrity of the food itself. Flour beetles cannot break down whole grains, but feed off the dust and broken grains in packing plants and containers. Once an infestation of flour beetles occurs, they are extremely difficult to get rid of. 

What are Flour Beetles?

Flour beetles are a scourge to the food packing industry. Pests can cause a large amount of damage in food processing plants, and anywhere else that stores grains. These pests can invade beans, dried fruits, spices, cereals, rice, and other similar products, but milled products such as flour are their main source of interest. Once they invade, they travel quickly, causing discoloration and strong odors in the foods they infiltrate. 

The flour beetles live for about one year, and females lay around 450 eggs. They make their presence known in several hideous ways. The dead carcasses of flour beetles can cast into grain bins as well as old skin and fecal matter. Liquids known as quinones emanating from the carcasses taint the grain containers with a noxious odor. They definitely wreak havoc on containers of flour, spices, and the like. 

How Can I Identify the Most Common Flour Beetles?

Both red flour beetles and confused flour beetles look very similar. Their bodies have a reddish-brown and shiny tint and are a flat and oval shape. Each beetle is only about an ⅛ of an inch in length. The red flour beetles were first found in Asia, while the confused flour beetle is found in Africa. The best way to tell them apart is to look at their antennae. 

How Can I Safely Get Rid of Flour Beetles?

Many bug infestations in food processing plants can be handled to a degree by insecticides. However, this is not the most effective for eradicating flour beetles. They quickly build up a tolerance to the insecticide and become resistant to the chemical. In addition to the resistance issue, the food processing/storage plant is dealing with food and must be careful to keep the food safe for human consumption. Applying chemicals and pesticides in food takes great care, and there are many rules that govern this issue. 

The food processing industry is immense, and the best defense against pests is a good offense. In other words, keeping the plant clean and sanitizing regularly is the key to success in preventing flour beetles and other stored product pests.

According to the Penn State Extension, “Proper bin sanitation before introduction of new grain minimizes the need for pesticides. Good sanitation involves the removal of old grain and dust in and around the grain bin.” Since the flour beetles can only feed off of the dust and cracked kernels, cleaning bins properly will keep a future infestation from occurring.  

If your company has been infested with pests,  the Cryonite machine will save the day. This is by far the best way to safely get rid of stored product pests. This machine does not rely on insecticides, so there is no worry about the flour beetles building up a resistance. This machine freezes pests on contact and doesn’t use any chemicals at all in the process. Best of all, the Cryonite machine can be used immediately. Immediate response means your food processing plant can get back to business quickly and safely. 

Benefits of Cryonite in Food Processing

Food safety is of the utmost importance in food processing plants. Which makes the Cryonite machine a great investment to keep flour beetles away from the food inventory. This machine is safe and effective to use. In laboratory studies, flour beetles were killed and frozen immediately, and the plant was quickly able to resume operations. Additionally, there are no rules about retreatment, like many other pest control methods, since there are no chemicals involved to start with. You can use the machine again if the need arises. 

Many food processing plants find it difficult to insert new protocols or tools into the paradigm of working with food because the safety of the food is of utmost importance. Researchers at Kansas State University explain, “The difficulty is how to best integrate various tools into a coherent and effective program within the constraints imposed by maintaining the operation of a food production and storage facility and the production and maintenance of a quality food product.” With the Cryonite machine, there are no worries about harsh chemicals or wait times or tainting the food and it is a very easy tool to integrate into the operation. 

The Cryonite machine is easy and effective for your food processing plant or warehouse. The machine is safe to use on all surfaces and equipment, including technology. This is a bonus when you do not have to worry about chemicals landing in sensitive places. Also, the Cryonite machine does not require a license to operate. This gives you the ability to train your staff to respond to infestations. The Cryonite Machine solves the problem of flour beetles without chemicals, special training, or long wait times. Please contact us today to see if Cryonite is right for you. 

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