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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

saw toothed grain beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis)

Host plants / species affected
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)
Avena sativa (oats)
Azadirachta indica (neem tree)
Ceratonia siliqua (locust bean)
Cocos nucifera (coconut)
Helianthus annuus (sunflower)
Hordeum vulgare (barley)
Myristica fragrans (nutmeg)
Oryza sativa (rice)
Panicum (millets)
Panicum miliaceum (millet)
Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)
Secale cereale (rye)
Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)
stored products (dried stored products)
Triticum (wheat)
Triticum aestivum (wheat)
Vicia faba (faba bean)
Zea mays (maize)
List of symptoms/signs
Seeds  -  external feeding
Adult beetles of O. surinamensis and O. mercator can be seen moving rapidly over stored food. The immature stages are inconspicuous.
Prevention and control

Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods

Good store hygiene plays an important role in limiting infestation by Oryzaephilus spp. The removal of infested residues from the previous season's harvest is essential, as is general hygiene in stores such as ensuring that all spillages are removed and all cracks and crevices filled. Infestations may also be limited by the storage of good quality grains such as whole cereals with fewer broken grains and dockage, and milled rice with a high milling degree (at least 95%) and few broken grains.

Biological Control

Biological control has not been practised against Oryzaephilus spp. The hemipterans, Xylocoris cursitans and X. flavipes, have been used successfully in field trials for biological control of residual populations of O. surinamensis.

Chemical Control

Grain may be protected by the admixture of insecticide. Oryzaephilus spp. are susceptible to all those insecticides normally used on stored food. Grain stocks may be fumigated with phosphine to eliminate an existing infestation but these treatments provide no protection against re-infestation. A variety of diatomaceous earths have been tested against Oryzaephilus surinamesis (Fields and Korunic, 2000; Arthur, 2001) and these offer potential for the control of these species even at grain moisture contents up to 17% (Cook and Armitage, 2000).

Oryzaephilus spp. are not associated with any substantial weight loss in stored food products; however, infestations by these pests can lead to substantial contamination with frass and dead bodies. Thus, quality deterioration is an important issue.
Related treatment support
External factsheets
Maine Forest Service Insect and Disease Factsheets, Maine Department of Conservation, 2000, English language
BioNET-EAFRINET Maize Pest Factsheets, BioNET-EAFRINET, 2011, English language
HGCA On-Farm Information, Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), 2003, English language
Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheets, The Ohio State University Extension, English language
Pennsylvania State University Insect Pest Fact Sheets, The Pennsylvania State University, 1990, English language
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