The alucite of cereals

The alucite of cereals

In all the tropical regions of the world, one finds in the plantations of cereals a pest insect called alucite cereals. It attacks wheat, barley, rice and of course corn. This pest comes into action both in the field and in the storage warehouses of these cereals. He took advantage of international cereal trade to make his appearance in many parts of the world.

Caracteristic of The alucite of cereals

This pest is also known as Sitotroga cerealella. It is a granivorous insect of the lepidopteran genus, classified in the family of Tineidae, whose distribution is cosmopolitan. In adulthood, the brownish gray insect is a 15 mm long butterfly. This one lays its eggs on the grains and dies some time later. Its reproduction is well done when the temperatures are between 16 ° C and 35 ° C, with a humidity higher than 30%. It is nearly 150 eggs that can be laid by females on grains or within crevices. This weighting is possible individually or in groups. The caterpillar or larva that emerges is white in color and turns pale yellow when ripe. In the posterior wings of the insect, we can see long V-shaped hairs, an appearance that is very distinctive and even appears as a kind of marking. These wings tend to shrink sharply at some point. The larvae of this lepidopteran have chewing mouthparts with which it devours the germ and endosperm of the attacked grain. The adult insect has a sucking horn.

Signs of infestation

We recognize the attack of cereal alucite when we see big holes in the grain. Infestation has also occurred when insects fly near the grain storage site. Once reached, the grain warms up and its water content increases, which promotes the development of molds. This situation is exploited by secondary pests who take advantage of it to attack the kernels in turn.


There are new cereal storage procedures that can reduce the problems caused by this pest. In this regard, it should be known that it does not support low temperatures as well as those that are very high. For low temperatures for example, the insect can not continue its development when the mercury is maintained at -5 ° C for 12 weeks. Modern storage places respect this indication and help to shelter from this pest of cereals. It can even go down to -20 ° C for one week of grain storage.


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