Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'
Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
Jordan: Sebastian, thanks for your thoughtful responses to the above - and a clarification on GrainPro bags. With infested cocoa, in a high temperature/high humidity environment, GrainPro's hermetic bags WILL kill the insects through suffocation. This is how it works: the insects (and the cocoa) respire, emitting carbon dioxide, and taking in the oxygen. Once the O2 level drops below 3%, all insects die. In other words, the hermetic GrainPro bag creates a "Modified Atmosphere" - low O2, high CO2 - which is lethal to insects (and all life). Depending on the level of infestation (which serves as the "engine"), the temperature and the humidity - a 100% insect kill can take from 1-2 weeks in a 69 KG GrainPro SuperGrainbag (SGB). It's critical not to open the SGB (allowing more oxgyen in) during this time.
In a colder, more temperate environment, where insect activity is reduced, there is a NON-CHEMICAL way to fumigate cocoa: Flushing with CO2 (a naturally ocurring gas). Here's how: use a GrainPro Cocoon GHF or GrainPro Cocoon Indoor (see GrainPro website), both of which come equipped with an inlet port to enable flushing with liquid CO2. This is an organic method of infestation control - not requiring chemical pesticides. This CO2 flushing method vastly speeds up the insect kill - and works in temperate climates/cold warehouses.
Finally, to James initial question/issue, James should request his cocoa beans in hermetic GrainPro 69KG SuperGrainbags FROM ORIGIN (ie, Venezuela), to protect the beans in shipment, stop cross-contamination (onions, ayone?) or cross-infestation - and kill off any insects that might already be in the bag (or container) during the multi-week shipment from Venezuela to US ports. This is the only way to control infestation without using an of the chemical 'ides...
Hope this helps.
Thanks Jordan. I admit i'm still skeptical simply due to kinetics. I understand the concept. The biomass of infestation is always going to be very low on a % basis, and the metabolic oxidative draw down rate due to respiration from larvae is incredibly small, and is further predicated on no holes in the material - which is difficult to guarantee at origin. Eggs wil be even lower. Flushing with CO2 will certainly help displace the resident oxygen. I'd love to have some controlled experimental data to review (or better yet have conducted it myself - it's just the way i'm built). I'd worry about condensation in the bag as there's no place for the moisture to go if it's sealed that tightly, leading to mold. I'm probably most skeptical as i've been doing this for a very long time at a huge scale, and have never seen it. That's certainly not to say i've seen everything, and i always love finding new ways of doing things - but at first blush i do remain skeptical.
Prove me wrong so i can learn!