Insects in Seeds
Tue, 27 Dec 2005 16:49:37 PST
Hi Gang,

My "instant" method for insects in seeds is to use mothballs.  I put them in 
plastic container overnight with the mothballs and that seems to do the trick. 

However, if I have large amounts of wild-collected seed (e.g., from a bucket 
of prickly pear fruits), I will give them a mist of cyfluthrin.  Cyfluthrin is 
one of the semi-synthetic pyrerthum derivatives (or maybe entirely 
synthetic).  Cyfluthrin is essentially nontoxic for mammals, but like any pesticide (or 
even any household cleaner), I like to understand what I'm using.  So, I've 
provide a link below for the toxicity information.  I just mist the seeds with 
the sprayer that comes with the bottle for use in the kitchen for roaches and 
ants (Bayer, I think).  Then, I make sure the seeds dry well before storage.

Mostly, if my seeds seem clean and pest-free, I don't use any pesticide.  I 
simply dry them down as much as I can (if they are from a species that allows 
drying).  Then, I put them over Drierite and refrigerate them.  Sometimes I 
freeze them.  I don't know if it is the extreme dryness, or the cool 
temperatures, but I have never had insect problems with seeds stored thusly.

For seeds that do not dry down and which don't tolerate long storage, I 
inspect them and if I can't plant them quickly I will give them a shot of 
cyfluthrin, or put them overnight in mothballs.  


Conroe Joe

NOTE:  No matter how toxic or nontoxic you think a pesticide is, never inhale 
it and never let children or pets get into it.  Always wash your hands 
afterwards.  In other words, be as least as careful as you would with Windex, or 
other spray cleaners.  

LINK:  ExToxNet, Cyfluthrin sheet 

LINK:  Cyfluthrin Inhalation Data 

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