0Volume 26 Number 3 cs-yer 3
JULY 1, 1916
W. A. McRAE
COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE
RELATING TO INSECTS INJURIOUS TO
STORED GRAIN, AND SUGGESTIONS
FOR THEIR CONTROL
Entered January 31, 1903, at Tallahassee, Florida, as second-clars
matter under Act of Congress of June, 1900.
TIESt BULLETINS ARE ISSUED fREt TO THOSE REQUESTING THEM
T. J. APPLEYARD, STATE PRINTER
RELATING TO INSECTS INJURIOUS TO
STORED GRAIN, AND SUGGESTIONS
FOR THEIR CONTROL.
BY H. S. ELLIOT,
Chief Clerk, Department of Agriculture.
In the words "stored grain" it is intended to include
corn, cow peas of all varieties, beans, sorghum, kaffir
corn, Milo maize, rice and all similar seeds and grains.
All of the insects attacking the above grains and seeds
operate in the same way and can be controlled through
the same agencies.
It is the object of this article to point out to the
grower, the store-keeper or the dealer, the best methods
of exterminating or at least checking the ravages of these
insects. There is quite a number of these insects, and
we know of no grain that is not affected by them to
greater or less extent. But there are three principal ones
which are the cause of the greatest amount of injury to
the seeds and grains referred to in the south and, of
course, in Florida: the Angumois grain moth, the corn
weevil, the black weevil or rice weevil and the red or
brown or cow pea weevil. All of these weevils prey on
cow peas, beans, etc. The Angumois grain moth or corn
weevil was first discovered in France about 1736, as
destructive to barley and also to wheat. The rice weevil
is supposed to have been introduced into this country
from the West Indies with the earliest settlement of this
country. The cow pea weevil is supposed to have origin-
ated in China, in fact it is found in all the Mediter-
ranean regions of Europe, and abundant proof of its
presence is recorded in all of the principal nationalities
of both hemispheres, where it has caused the destruction
of millions of dollars worth of seeds or grain every year
for many years. The earliest date of which mention is
made of this insect is in 1758, but it has undoubtedly
existed since before the Christian era. There are many
other weevils more or less destructive to seeds and grains
either in the field or granary, but the above described
are the principal or most important ones to this country.
All of them operate in practically the same manner and
can be controlled by the same methods.
EFFECT OF INJURY.
The principal injury caused by these insects is due to
the operations of the larvae which feed within the seeds
attacked, whether it be cow peas, beans, corn or other
seeds. Thus they have the effect of lessening the value
of these seeds either for sale, for consumption as food or
for planting; and as a single seed may contain a number
of individuals, consuming of course much of the tissue of
the seed and either damaging greatly or destroying alto-
gether the germinating power of the seed, the importance
of effective control must he realized.
METHOD OF ATTACKING SEEDS.
There is no essential difference in the manner in which
liese several weevils attack the seed. The female weevil
begins to deposit her eggs on the young seed vessel in the
blossom, on the outside of the growing pods in the field
and upon the dried seed or grain. They are attached
by a glutinous substance which covers and protects the
egg. This covering extends to considerable extent around
it. Here the eggs hatch in four or five days and the
larvae penetrate into the growing seeds, each eating out
a habitation for itself, which it enlarges from time to
time as needed. In two or three weeks in summer
weather or about two months in cooler weather they
attain their full growth. When full grown, the larvae
transforms to pupa and develops later into the beetle
stage; the pupal state lasts only four or five days. The
beetle gnaws his way out of the seed by cutting the skin
of the pod or the covering placed there above referred
to. The development may take place at different periods.
Usually the first brood which develops in the field attain
maturity by about the third week in September, some-
times earlier, judging from the appearance of the exit
holes in the pods, and the further fact that certain
varieties of peas or seeds mature sooner than Ihis date.
SOME VARIETIES MORE SUSCEPTIBLE THAN OTHERS.
It has been observed by those familiar with the habits
of the various weevils and their methods of attacking
grain or seeds, that there are certain varieties much pre-
ferred to others by each of them. It is noted that when
the insect is very abundant in numbers it is not so apt to
discriminate between varieties of seeds: rather if the
favorite plant is not at hand or near by, the insect will
not hesitate to attack any variety that may be present.
There is the best evidence for the general belief that pea
and bean weevils, like the grain weevils, prefer the soft-
est grain or seed because they are more easily penetrated.
and they experience greater difficulty in penetrating
harder seed or grain. Certain it is that in Florida. and
the far south generally, the softer varieties of corn are
much worse and easier affected than the harder sorts. So
it is with cow peas. The following list of cow peas are
among the varieties quite susceptible to weevil attack.
their choice apparently about in the order named-Black-
eye, Browneye, Black, Lady, Rice, Manakin, Red Ripper,
Whippoorwill, New Era, Red Crowder, Clay and Un-
known. The foregoing list contains the best of the edible
varieties, but the two hardest or most resistant varieties
to weevil attack are the Iron and the Brabham peas, and
the varieties of corn known usually as flint. The plant
or vine of these last mentioned peas are also practically
immune to the fungus diseases which affect all other
VARIOUS METHODS OF CONTROL.
The remedies for all of the insects that infest stored
seeds or grain are practically the same, but, as a matter
of information, we submit briefly, a synopsis of numerous
remedies which have been or are considered to be more
or less efficacious in the control of these insects, viz:
The Hot Water Eemedy-This is done by immersing the
seed in water gradually heated to 140 degrees F. The
practical application of this remedy is about as follows:
A piece of coarse material such as burlap is placed in a
kettle of the size desired or necessary, so that when
weighted down with the peas or beans it will not touch
the bottom or sides. This keeps the seeds from coming
into contact with the heating surface and prevents them
from becoming over-heated and damaged. The peas or
beans are then placed on the burlap and covered with
water and the heat turned on or fire started. The tem-
perature should be raised as rapidly as possible, the peas
or beans stirred constantly, and as soon as the tempera-
ture reaches 140 degrees F. the contents should be at
once removed. The seed can then be planted or spread
out and dried first and then planted when desired.
Holding Over Seed-This remedy has been practiced
with varying success. This method is carried out by
placing the seed in a tight bag or bags or some other
closed receptacle. If the bags are kept in a warm room
the beetles will hatch and' come out prematurely and
will die without doing further injury to the seed, as they
are not able to breed in dry seed. This method can only
be used in a limited way.
Treatment with China Berries-It is claimed by many
that china berries placed in corn cribs or pea or bean
bins will keep weevils out or drive out those already
there, but as experiments made for the purpose of test-
ing the correctness of these claims have always failed, it
may be assumed that these berries have but little if any
effect in driving out weevils or in preventing their
Sulphur and Salt Method-The combination of these
substances has on limited experiments proven effective
in ridding corn of both the black or rice weevil and other
grain weevils. A mixture of sulphur and salt freely
sprinkled upon shucked corn will in a few days drive
away weevils under ordinary conditions, but it will not
drive out the weevils from corn or peas with the shucks
or hulls on.
Other Remedies-There is still quite a number of
remedies other than those above described more or less
effective, but of no great importance and we will not
treat of them here.
BITSULPHIDE OF CARBON.
There are several methods of treating such grain as
peas, beans, corn, rice and other seeds with bisulphide;
one is by applying the bisulphide by means of a long
tube or pipe in form of a tight fitting rod. Push one
end of this into the center of the pile of grain, pour the
bisulphide down the tube, after which it may be with-
drawn. If a tight fitting rod cannot be obtained, a plug
can be put into one end of the tube and after this end has
pushed down through the grain, the plug can be pushed
out with a stick and the liquid can be poured in as in
the first instance. The idea in this case is not to place
the liquid at the bottom of the pile of grain, however, but
about or a little above the center; the liquid being heavier
than the air it will descend and penetrate all parts.
Another method of treating grain with bisulphide of
carbon is about as follows: A ball of cotton, which is an
excellent material for this purpose, is tied to a rod or
stick of such a length that it can be pushed through the
grain into the center of the vessel containing the grain,
first having been well saturated with the bisulphide. A'
close cover should be immediately placed over the opening
to the vessel so as to retain the fumes and prevent their
escape. In all of these operations the amount of bisul-
phide necessary will depend upon the amount of grain
and the tightness of the vessel or bin, as the case may
be. The quantity with a tight bin or other vessel should
be about two ounces to the hundred pounds or, say, at
the rate of about one to one and a half pounds per ton.
This is an excellent method for the treatment of shelled
grain in small quantities as the liquid can be easily
applied to the center of the grain pile.
Probably the best method of destroying grain insects
with bisulphide of carbon is about as follows: Be it un-
derstood that to get the highest results, corn must at
least be husked, and should be shelled, and all other
grains such as peas, beans, rice, wheat, oats or other
grain, should have the shell or husk removed. Then first
construct tight granaries or bins, the tighter the better
and place in them the grain to be treated. For every
one hundred (100) bushels of grain, apply either in small
saucers or other receptacles at short distances set about
over the surface of the pile of grain, two pounds of
bisulphide of carbon to each one hundred bushels of grain
or seeds, (100 bushel to 200 bushel bins is a good size)
and close up the doors and windows, if any, tight. If
corn is treated in the ear it will require about two and
a half pounds to the one hundred bushels. Keep the bins
closed for about 72 hours or three days. The bins can
then be opened. It is best to repeat the process at the
end of about ten days using at the rate of one pound to
each one hundred bushels of grain. Then in about two
to three weeks make a third application similar to the
second. This is not always necessary, but it makes cer-
tain the complete destruction of the insects, for unless at
least two applications of the bisulphide are made some
of the larvae will escape and in a short while the trouble
will be as bad as ever, but the third application will be
enough to make destruction of all the insects sure.
The above method of treatment is adapted to use on
any scale however large or small and can be used as
easily and successfully by the smallest planter as by the
largest warehouse man or dealer. It will succeed with
all, provided these instructions are followed properly and
CONSTRUCTION OF BIN.
For the information of those who may desire to o1n-
struct grain boxes or bins for the purpose alo've de-
scribed, we make the following suggestions: A hilding,
box or room about 100 to 200 bushels capacity suitable
for the fiumigalion of a quantity of peas. beans h or grain
would contain approximately 500 cubic feet of space. A
fumigator of this capacity might be built, say, eight feet
square by eight feet in height. To make this tight. .good
and perhaps the best preventive for the escape of tlie gas.
would be to line the fumigator with sheet tin with
soldered joints, or with good wood sheathing or with
Another and plerlaps cheaper, and equally as good a
method would le to sheath the bin or room inside the
walls, ceiling and floors with tarred or heavy building
paper, with the joints well lapped, and then cover the
inside with matched ceiling boards. The door to the
fumigator should be made to fit tight with joints well
broken, similar to the door of a refrigerator or safe, and
should be arranged to close against a thick felt weather
strip, which should make it practically gas tight. A bin
thus constructed would supply enough space to store
and fumigate about 200 bushels of seed or grain. This
would also allow sufficient space for the application and
diffusion of the bisulphide of carbon from top as pre-
viously directed in this article with a charge or quantity
greater than necessary for the amount of seed to be
It is suggested that on farms, especially, the fumigat-
ing building should be isolated, because of the danger
attending the use of bisulphide of carbon, its inflamma-
bility and liability to affect live stock. In properly con-
structed buildings or warehouses, cities and towns, com-
plete isolation is not so necessary, as care and protection
are more easily and effectively exercised.
Great care must be exercised in handling or using
bisulphide of carbon, as it is of a very explosive nature.
No lamps, lighted cigars, pipes, lanterns or matches should
be allowed in or near the building until it has been
opened long enough to be thoroughly aired. If this is
done there will not be the slightest danger in using this
remedy. Electric lights can be used without danger.
Grain or other seed treated with the bisulphide of carbon
is not injured in any way. The germinating power of the
seed remains intact, and its edible qualities are in no
wise affected. The odor of the bisulphide disappears en-
tirely in a few days.
1. The three principal insects injurious to stored
grain in the South are the Angumnois grain moth, the
black weevil and the red grain beetle, the bean and pea
2. The transformations and habits of these insects are
essentially the same, the eggs being laid within the grain
both before and after it is gathered, and the mature in-
sects coming forth in about three to six weeks after the
eggs are laid.
3. Their depredations are not confined to any one
cereal, and by their work they cause a marked decrease
in the weight of the grain.
4. Other insects are sometimes found in stored grain,
but as a rule in this state, cause but little injury.
5. If sulphur or salt is sprinkled in husked corn it
will tend to drive the insects away.
Gi. Many farmers leave an open space in the roof of
the corn cribs to allow the rain to soak into the corn,
which causes a heating of the grain, during which it is
claimed the weevils are killed. This is doubtful.
7. China berries placed in corn seem to have but little
etfect in keeping the corn free from the black weevils.
S. The best remedy for grain insects is by the use of
bisulphide of carbon. For this purpose a "quarantine"
bin should be built, and the grain treated with the bisul-
phide in this bin as it is gathered.
9. The amount of bisulphide will vary with the tight-
ness of the bin; as a rule one ounce of bisulphide to one
hundred pounds of grain being sufficient.
10. As the bisulphide is explosive, lights from matches,
cigars and the like, should be kept away until the odor
of the fumes has passed off.
11. The cost of the bisulphide is approximately 20
cents per pound when obtained direct from the manu-
facturer: possibly less, in quantities of several pounds.
12. Insects in mills should be treated with the bisul-
phide, commencing the application in the basement and
13. In the spring the insects in the empty or nearly
empty granaries should be killed by means of the bisul-
phide or kerosene, either of which will largely decrease
the damage the following fall and winter.
On the previous pages we have devoted considerable
space to what has so far been demonstrated to be the
best methods of controlling insects that do injury to
numerous varieties of grain and seeds in this State, but
in our search through the Agricultural Departments of
a number of States, notably Louisiana, California, Okla-
:omna. Mississippi and Texas, for information on the sub-
ject of insect control, we find that all of these states
except Texas use the Bisulphide of Carbon treatment.
In Texas they use a method peculiarly their own, and
claim for it the highest degree of effectiveness. They
claim to be using it successfully on a large commercial
With the permission of the Agricultural Department
of Texas we are quoting largely their methods as follows:
PEA CURING IN TEXAS.
EI'A CURING IN TEXAS A SUCCESS.
It is now an established fact that pea curing in Texas
is beyond the experimental stage and no man who has
taken the time and pains to make personal investigation
in the mal er will question the solidity of the new enter-
prise nor doubt the wisdom of progressive men in install-
ing coiimmerial plants and encouraging the planting of
peas and similar products for the market.
HQUIP.MENT NECESSARY AND APPROXIMATE COST OF INSTALL-
A well equipped commercial curing plant would con-
sist of the following equipment: A good substantial
building with plenty of floor space, which may be used as
a ware room for storing peas as well as a place to install
the necessary machinery. The machinery and other
equipment would consist of a huller, a cleaner or sepa-
rator, bins, elevators, ovens or dryers and their auxiliary
appliances. Lineshafts, pullies and belts and the initial
power machine, which may be propelled by steam, elec-
tricity, gasoline or any other economical power. The
approximate cost, ranging from $1,000.00 to .i-...iiii1 ii.
depending upon the size and designs of the building, and
the kind of material used and the size, amount and
quality of machinery installed. It is possible to equip
a small plant for even less than $1,000.00.
WHAT MAY BE PROCESSED AND THE OBJECTS OF TREATING.
In processing peas, beans, corn, maize, kaflir, etc., the
object is two-fold. First to kill the corn or pen we"vil
germ or egg; and, secondly, to extract excessive moisture
or water. To prevent the weevils from literally eating up
and rendering the peas unwholesome for food and feed.
the germs or eggs should be destroyed and it is advisable
to remove the unnecessary moisture to prevent heating
and spoiling when the peas are bulked in sacks or bins.
METHODS-TIIEIR SIMILARITY AND DIFFERENCE.
There are two distinct methods of processing in vogue.
but the final results wrought by each process are practi-
cally one and the same (killing germs and extracting
water), heat being the dual antidote. The greatest dif-
ference in the two processes, so far as their practical
features are concerned, is found in the method of trans-
mitting the heat from the base of generation to the place
of application. In one the air is heated by direct contact
with fire and in the other by steam pipes, which may be
several feet or yards away from the furnace. The re-
sults being so nearly identical and for the sake of brevity
I will treat with but one method: the direct contact.
DIRECT CONTACT AND OVEN.
The direct contact method is the operation of an effec-
tive, modern oven, which might properly be styled a coffee
roaster, in which is kept a gentle, uniform fire just be-
neath the peas, which are treated in a large revolving.
artistically perforated metal drum or cylinder. The
cylinder is placed within the oven or furnace and held
rigid at right angles with the head and back ends and
parallel with the walls of the oven by being mounted
upon a spindle-shaft extending lengthwise entirely
through and projecting from each end to bearing connec-
tions mounted on the outside and at each end of the
furnace or oven.
TO KEEP PEAS FROM BURNING.
To keep peas from burning while processing, the tire
must not be too hot and the cylinder must be constantly
revolving at the rate of about 45 to 50 revolutions per
minute and for this purpose a power pully is connected
with the end of the spindle-shaft mentioned above.
Heat for processing may be furnished by the use of any
fuel that will make a clear, clean fire, such as coal, coke,
natural or generated gas. Where gas is used a gas burn-
ing device must be provided.
SIZE AND CAPACITY.
These No. 1 roasters, which are a desirable commercial
size, are about 26 inches in diameter by 7 feet long and
will conveniently hold about 500 pounds of peas at a
time. They may be operated singly, in pairs or in bat-
teries consisting of as many as four, six or even eight
TIME REQUIRED FOR CURING.
The time required to kiln a charge of peas varies from
:0 to 45 minutes according to the condition of the peas
with reference to ripeness or moisture. Then, too, the
temperature of the heat will undoubtedly wield an in-
fluence to prolong or shorten the time. according to height
TEMPERATURE AND ITS EFFECT ON PEAS AND WEEVILS.
For market purposes and table use it is desirable to
cure the peas under a temperature of from 180 to 200
degrees Far. It has been demonstrated by practical men
that this range of heat, when carefully applied, does not
injure the quality of the peas in food value so far as the
market is concerned, but the germinating power for
planting purposes, to a great extent, is destroyed. They
are said to be perfectly immune from weevils and are
guaranteed as such when sold on the market, but after
being treated at a temperature that makes them immune
from weevils the germs of reproduction, in most cases, are
also killed, which renders them unfit for seed purposes.
KEEPING SEED PEAS.
Seed peas should be kept in the hull until planting time
anl in the meantime should be treated with highlife
about every 2) 0 o 0 days from harvest.
COST OF CURING PEAS.
After a curing plant has been installed the cost of pro-
cessing is normal. A conservative estimate is from 2 to 5
cents per bushel for actual work and expenses, this cost
varying, of course, according to the condition of the peas,
the arrangement and condition of the building and ma-
chinery, and especially the tact and ability of the man-
agement. In addition to this cost, however, there will be
a shrinkage and waste and processing and handling.
after the peas have been hulled, of about 8' That means
for every 100 pounds of peas hulled there will be a loss
in weight of 8 pounds during the process from the huller
to the bags. Then taking into account the market value
of the peas in the raw state, it is safe to estimate that
it will take about 10% of the worth of the peas at $2.00
per bushel to cover the cost of processing and loss in
MARKET DEMAND FOR CURED PEAS.
There is a good market demand for nicely cured, well
assorted table peas and so soon as the trade generally
is satisfied that peas immune from weevil can be had
from Texas our markets will continue to expand and
WHERE AND BY WHOM PLANTS MAY BE WISELY INSTALLED.
Each community where peas can be successfully grown
should have a curing plant. They may be secured by in-
teresting some individual or company in the installment
of such a project, or a plant can be built and operated on
a co-operative plan, where the growers themselves own
the stock and employ a manager to operate the plant and
manage the business. In either case the success will
depend upon the ability of the manager.
WHERE NECESSARY MACHINERY MAY BE HAD.
For particulars regarding ovens, machinery, etc.. write
to Jabez Burns & Sons, 600 West 43rd Street, New York.
N. Y.. and A. T. Ferrell & Co., Saginaw, Mich., for par-
ticulars on hullers, cleaners, etc. Both these firms are