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Infestation of cowpea bruchid (cowpea / pigeon pea)

 
Posts: 19
Location: Mae Hong Son, Thailand
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(not sure if this is the right forum to post this topic?)

Dear all,

I harvested and stored cowpea and pigeon pea in glass containers. After (quite) a while I saw that there was a lot of bugs. After some research I found out that it’s probably the “cowpea bruchid” (Callosobruchus maculatus).

Despite trying to google - I haven’t found a solution. Is there a way to clean or store the beans/peas so that I can avoid this bug?

At first I cleaned out all of the bugs from the containers but I guess they are inside the peas and keep getting “hatched” (or however they appear). I also added some dried neem leaves to see if that made any difference (it didn’t).

Any ideas?

Thanks, M

cowpea.jpeg
[Thumbnail for cowpea.jpeg]
pigeonpea.jpeg
[Thumbnail for pigeonpea.jpeg]
 
Posts: 420
Location: Richwood, West Virginia
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I thought maybe storing them in a container in which the oxygen had been removed by means of a votive candle might work.(Co2 is supposed to remain in the jar because it is heavier than air.
 
Burl Smith
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Evidently the bugs don't require much oxygen, or they would drown in their own Co2 in the enclosed jar, so the votive candle would need to be placed at the bottom of the container to ensure that the level of oxygen had been depleted to below the level of bug activity....No that wouldn't work cuz the candle would drown in it's own Co2...
 
Burl Smith
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gardener
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I have tried bay leaves, garlic cloves, etc etc. Nothing works. Anything very important (seed beans) lives in the fridge.
The best luck I`ve had to far in the cabinets is soaking a cotton ball in vodka and putting it in on top of the beans, which get an extra seal from a layer of plastic wrap under the lid. That has kept my Christmas beans whole-- or maybe the bugs just don`t like Christmas beans? People say you can shock them by putting the beans in the freezer for a day or so but that hasn`t worked for me.
 
pollinator
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Very simple cure, put the whole lot in the freezer for a couple of days. including the jar. That works for all grains, beans etc that you don't want beasties in. if you have space you can just keep them frozen but they don't need that, just the initial freeze.
 
pollinator
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+1 Freezing for a few days works for me too!
 
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reptile and amphibian keepers pay decent money for bean beetle starter colonies, something to consider
 
Mark Hansen
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Thanks for the replies! I will try with the freezer first and experiment from there 😊
 
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I have had the same problem in the past, The only remedy I found was to add D.E. to the storage container and shake it up just before storing.
Working well for last couple seasons.
 
pollinator
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Here in cow pea homeland, we eliminate them by spreading then out, one seed deep in full sun. Some eggs still survive, so you have to keep your eye on them and do it again when they hatch. Something to keep in mind for when your quantities are too much for the freezer.
 
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