Research at UAF - Survey and management of mite pests of stored grains in tehsil Toba Tek Singh, Punjab
Name of Principal Investigator: Dr. M. Hamid Bashir
Phone: 041-9200161-70 (2903)
Name of Co-Principal Investigator Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq
Phone: 041-9200161 (2900)
Fax: 041-9200764
Duration: 36 months
Cost: Rs. 2.173 millions
Funding agency: EFS UAF

Progress Reports

Stored grain and stored product mites are a serious problem throughout Pakistan. They not only damage stored grain but also cause occupational health problems to farmers and workers associated with grain storage and milling.  The mites cause both qualitative as well as quantitative losses. As a result of their infestation, along with weight reduction, the grain looses the viability. The flour prepared from infested grains has more tendencies to stick together, acidic and hygroscopic in nature, having a fusty smell. With inadequate control strategies, contamination due to storage mites and their products (Excreta, cast skins, dead bodies etc) may increase in cereal stores and progress throughout the food supply chain. The proposed project was aimed to identify the mite pests of different stored grains like wheat, maize, gram, etc from different Government godowns, local markets and farmer’s storages of Tehsil Toba Tek Singh as well as safe methods for controlling them. The same is communicated to the farmers of the particular area
Problem statement
The mite pest species occupy highly particular biome and they are considered of great importance as they are reported to severely infest and damage the food stuffs like flour, seed, bulbs, cheese and dried fruits etc. Many commercial farmers are unaware of the damage and losses caused by the stored grain mite. Stored grain mites belong to families Tyroglyphidae, Saproglyphidae and Glycyphagidae of suborder Sarcoptiformes. Chiloglyphus and Acarus species are considered the most important mites of stored grains. They pose severe losses and damage to stored grain and stored grain products. The direct damage of mites to stored grains is through contamination and penetration into seeds which consequently lower the vitality and germination capability of the seeds. They damage the embryo after penetrating into seeds and thus lowering the germination capability of seeds. They eat away the grains and sometimes the whole contents of the seed are destroyed. The indirect damage is through raising the moisture contents of stored grains and generating much heat which subsequently favours the growth of bacteria and fungi that would deteriorate the quality of produce i.e. fusty smell and bitter taste. Flour prepared from contaminated grain has high moisture contents, higher hygroscopicity, more in acidity, tend to stick, fusty smell and bitter taste. Contaminated grains, dried fruits and vegetables become useless and harmfull for human consumption. Mites act as vector of fungal and bacterial diseases and spread them throughout the whole mass of grains. Their excrements act as food substrates for different bacteria
To elucidate the exact picture of incidence and losses caused by different mite species.
To explore the existence of different mites in different localities of Toba Tek Singh, Punjab.
To evaluate/ explore different mite pest management strategies culminating into integrated pest management Demonstration / dissemination of technology by holding farmer’s field day with the collaboration of the extension field staff of the area
Survey of different selected and other localities from tehsil Toba Tek Singh will be carried out for collection of stored grain mites. For on spot collection sieve method will be used. A fine sieve will be held over a white piece of paper and grains will be shaken. Mites received on paper will be sorted with the help of a field lens and preserved in small vials containing alcohol. Berlese’s funnel method will also be used for collection. The collected specimens will be mounted permanently using Hoyer’s medium. These mounted specimens will be identified up to the species level with the help of the literature. Different pesticides will be evaluated for their effectiveness against mite pests. Viability of the seeds will be tested through seed viability test. These results will be demonstrated to the farmers.
1. Tehsil Toba Tek Singh was surveyed thoroughly for collection of mite pests which resulted in identification of Five species of mite pests viz., Acotyledon falki, Ashfaq and Sher, Caloglyphus opacatus, Ashfaq and Chaudhri, Tyrophagus singhi n.sp Histiostoma edax, Ashfaq, Chaudhri and Aheer and Acotyledon seiulensis n.sp. were collected.
2. Results regarding the acaricidal activities showed that the extracts of Neem, Dhatura and Kner were effective against mite pests. While significant results were obtained from Unique-M and Gallop.
One to two photographs of the project