In many tropical and subtropical countries higher incidents of liver cancer and kidney failures can directly be linked to increased human uptake of mycotoxins through infested food, mycotoxin-contaminated meat or beer.

What happens during an attack?

Often, an attack starts with a few individuals or one gravid female arriving at a suitable infestation site. Given suitable stored products and moisture contents as well as temperatures above some 15°C, oviposition will occur. One can distinguish primary pests (e.g. the lesser grain borer Rhyzopertha dominica or weevils of the genus Sitophilus) that can attack a healthy product such as a complete grain kernel from secondary pests that require broken kernels or damage caused by a primary pest (e.g. the flat grain beetle Oryzaephilus surinamensis). The insects break down carbohydrates and produce carbon dioxide, water and energy by respiration. Predators and parasitoids may multiply as soon as they find sufficient numbers of hosts and add to the metabolic production of moisture and heat.