Generally it is observed that in powdered food items and the flour, insect and pests germinate. The successful housewives normally keep the millets and other such things in the open vessel in the sun light to keep the insects and pests away from the powdered spices, rice, millets and flour. The shopkeepers are also facing the problems of insects and pests in these items. Insect problem in flour and powdered food items is a given. People usually discard the flour if they find it infested with insects or other pests.
Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) has come out with a gadget named PITFALL TRAP to do away with pests in flour, spice powders and minor millets.
“This will bring huge relief to those who store flour , spice powders and minor millets in bins or bag, and sieve the flour before use,” according to S Mohan, Professor, Department of Agricultural Entomology, TNAU.
It works like a probe trap used in grains but is modified to trap insects in flour and minor millets, he said. Insects generally surface for air, so the trap should be inserted into the container. The pest will fall through the perforation on the top of the tumbler and settled over the sieve portion at the bottom. Any spill over flour into the trap can be sieved by shaking the trap unit, he explained.
A perforated top lid is fitted to a cylindrical tumbler-shaped container with a fine sieve at the bottom. A rod is fitted to the top of the lid to insert the trap inside the flour or spice powder container.
The TNAU is yet to start commercial production of the trap but enquiries are coming from millers. The device is simple to use, chemical-free and helps in early detection of insects, he said and added that the device will be priced between ₹140 and ₹150.
After the successful roll-out of Probe Trap for trapping insects in grains, the Tamil Nadu Agri University (TNAU) here has come up with the newer device, which is extension of the earlier probe trap developed by the TNAU.
TNAU has developed devices that exploit the wandering behaviour of the insects and help in timely detection of insects in stored produce leading to timely control. These include TNAU probe trap, TNAU pit fall trap, two in one model trap, indicator device, Automatic insect removal bin, UV-light trap technology, Egg removal device and Stack Trap. These devices have been widely used in many places and have received State and National recognitions.
Hence, the Department of Agricultural Entomology, Centre for Plant Protection Studies, TNAU, Coimbatore has developed a “KIT” named as TNAU-Stored Grain Insect Pest Management Kit containing prototypes of all the devices along with a CD-Rom about the devices and how to use them. This kit will be of great use in popularization of the technologies across the country. The kit will be an ideal “hands – on training” tool for Education, Extension centers (KVK, Plant clinic, save grain centers) and also for private warehousing.