We've been having a huge problem with grain moths infesting our stored dry goods, and as a result I'm getting ready to seriously upgrade our storage container setup. After seeing what they cost new, I thought there must be a better way. What do you do to keep the bugs and beasts out of your dry goods? The moths came in on some grains we bought a while back, so I'm putting all of our new purchased grains though the freezer for a few days before packing them away in the containers I do have.
Bugs in the goods
Dry, dryer, driest is one plan of attack, freezing is another.
Storing the goods in an oxygen free environment will extend shelf life and reduce infestation. Mylar pouches with oxygen absorbers will do the job. If using mylar, warm the product and seal the bags while still warm. This will result in a partial vacuum when the product cools. The partial vacuum and oxygen absorbers can reduce the internal oxygen levels to a point that bugs become inactive.
Bugs from outside the goods
5 gallon buckets with rubber gaskets to seal the lids is what I use. If the product is packed in mylar, the bucket does not need to be food grade-Home Depot has an orange paint bucket that will do the job for less than 3 bucks.
I've had grain moths get into rice and beans. I feed it to the chickens.
Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
How are you storing the grains now? I've had this problem in the past and now they are gone. One thing I have noticed is to use them as an indicator species. From my experiences they prefer old grain products over fresh. I noticed this when I started buying local grown grains. I would have them both in the same area and they would always go for the store grains which I knew were no where near as fresh.
Proper storage is also very helpful if you can't source the freshest of grains. For small amounts I've found glass jars to be the best option. Even old pasta sauce jars will keep them out for good. For larger amounts food grade buckets are good. I get them for free from my local grocery store. They get all kinds of fresh things in them for the sandwiches they make in the store. Otherwise they go in the trash.
Also buying grain that is not already contaminated helps a lot. None of the measures above will help if the eggs are already in the grain. As mentioned a quick dip in the freezer will solve that problem and then you can store properly.
The last is eliminate any possible breeding sources(open bags of chips, cereal, grains, etc...)
Hope that helps
The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
Hubert -- I've been storing my grains in a very ad-hoc way. Some of it is packed for longer term with oxygen absorbers and the whole bit, but the stuff I have out to use has been in a variety of containers (ceramic jars, old plastic tubs, some in the bags they came in, etc.). I'm pretty sure the eggs came initially on some local rice I got, but they have since gone through most of my dry goods; spices, dried chiles, beans, wheat, and everything that wasn't stored for long term. I was really surprised that they got into some of that stuff, particularly the spices and dried chiles.
I like the idea of using mason jars and the plastic buckets. Jars for in the kitchen, and buckets to protect the harvest in bigger batches... Also, the oven canning idea sounds pretty awesome, so I'll definitely give that a shot.