Indian meal moths are more commonly known as pantry moths. They live in cracks near the floor or wall common in shelving, where their larvae can infest cracked grain products such as flour or cornmeal. Though the adults cannot eat your foods, where there's adults there are children. When the children mature they leave behind a silk-like mass of webs that are sometimes found on the floor or inside of packages in the pantry. Should you ever see a moth or a small mass of webbing near your pantry its safe to assume you've a pantry moth infestation. Thankfully it can be dealt with by a few simple, store bought traps. Here is a guide on how to go about obtaining traps, how they work and how to use them.
- Skill level:
Things you need
Drive to your nearest supermarket chain. Most chains will have a pest control aisle.
Look for Flour & Pantry Moth Traps. Despite however many brands you may find, there are only three types of moth trap on the market. The use of the trap will depend on which type you purchase. They are pheromone traps, moth suppression traps and all purpose pantry traps. The price will vary between five and twenty dollars depending on the trap.
Buy a pheromone trap--it is a good one to start with. These traps are cheap and the most commonly found. They usually consist of a tray coated with non-toxic glue that contains female sex-pheromones. They will effectively attract, trap and kill any male moths in the vicinity. For a home one or two will be sufficient, for warehouses with edible goods you should get one for every 500 square feet. Once buying them all you have to do is remove the protective coating and place them on a shelf in your pantry. Remember that this will not attract the egg-laying females or the larvae, so this trap will only work to break the reproductive cycle and will take the longest to clear up any infestation you may have.
Buy a moth suppression trap--it is probably a better choice if you can afford the extra expense as they cost a little over 10 dollars. These are also a glue trap, typically a tray that you place in the pantry. They incorporate both the female sex pheromones and chemical egg laying attractants in order to catch both males and females. These chemicals give the female the impression that the glue trap is the ideal place to lay her eggs, thus catching her. Each female caught is the equivalent of catching over two hundred males for all the eggs it prevents them from laying.
Buy an all purpose pantry trap if you can afford to. They usually cost a little more than twenty dollars, but they are worth it. Such traps usually come in the shape of a plastic disc with holes in the top and sides which you simply take out of its plastic wrapping on place on a shelf in your pantry. The interior will be a mixture of sticky glue, female sex pheromone, egg-laying female attractant and edible grain oil. Not only will this catch all your pantry moths, it will also attract all the different forms of grain beetle and bole weevil that can infest your foodstuffs. With these other insects however, the adults can be found in you grain products as well as the larvae.
Tips and warnings
- There isn't any poison in these traps, because of the possibility that the insects could ingest some of the poison and then contaminate your food supply with it. This is why you should never use poisons of any sort in the pantry or kitchen.
- While these traps will effectively trap and kill all male insects that could infest your pantry, it will not catch the larvae. Because of this is you find that your trap has insects in it, you must then empty your entire pantry and systematically open and check every box and container. The larvae of all these insects are attracted to grain products, so check cornmeal, flour, cereals, crackers, and cookies very thoroughly. Also take the time to check the shelves themselves for any signs of pests like empty cocoons. If you can get rid of the larvae then your traps will get rid of the adults and you won't have any further problems.
- The pheromones in these traps are powerful, if you have a tendency to leave doors or windows open you might end up attracting moths from outdoors into your home.
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