Is calledPlodia interpunctellaand is better known asfood moth, food butterflyor again,banded wheat mothand flour butterfly. It is the insect that infests our pantries to feed on cereal flours, pasta, dried fruit and other organic substances.
Thefood moths, when adults, they have the appearance of butterflies that can reach 20 mm of wingspan. The namebanded wheat mothit is dictated both by its appearance (this moth has a brown-orange band on its body separated by a dark stripe), and by its eating habits, in fact it is also known as the flour moth.
In the United States, thefood mothsthey are known as pantry mothsand represent the worst pest of stored food products.
Food Moths - Remedies:the habits to adopt
Food mothsHere is a list of control methods and natural remedies to permanently ward off butterflies in the pantry. Traps and useful tips.
- Pre-purchase prevention
Before buying any food that will end up in your pantry, inspect it thoroughly. Food moths easily settle in your pantry, it is a good idea to check for contamination. It will seem difficult to think but thefood mothsthey are often brought into your pantry with packaged foods!
- Prevention and storage
Keep any food in airtight containers: transfer the flour into recycled glass jars and even the mail can be stored in old coffee cans.
Check for the presence of contaminated food, in addition to the adult individual (the pantry butterfly), check the larval stages. The larva is white with a black or brown head, has a worm-like appearance and is only a few millimeters long. Once the contaminated food has been identified, it can be recovered through a very careful and scrupulous selection or it can be eliminated and thrown away.
- Massive infestations
In case of strong food moth infestations it will not be enough to eliminate contaminated food: food moths find their natural habitat in the pantries and are not willing to give up too easily. In case offood moth infestationsit will be necessary to carefully check for any cracks and crevices in the pantry. No crack is negligible: thefood mothsthey can live in even the smallest crevice. Don't worry, you don't have to change the kitchen furniture but just eliminate the cracks or treat them with natural remedies such asdiatomaceous earthor organic botanical insecticides. In the case of use of insecticides, no food must be placed in the pantry for the entire safety period indicated on the label of the product used. The earth or diatomaceous earth is absolutely harmless to humans.
Food moths, remedies:traps and insecticides
As mentioned, diatomaceous earth is indicated for treating the cracks in which the food moths, however, this is not the only remedy that can be implemented in the event of heavy infestations.
On the biological control front, it is possible to adopt microorganisms such as Bacillus thuringiensis var. Kurstaki or other predatory insects such as the Trichogramma wasp (T. pretiosum, T. brassicae and T. minutum spp.). The trichogramma wasps manage to destroy in a short time the eggs of 200 species of moths and among these there are also the food moths. Of course, biological struggle is a natural remedy which does not involve the use of insecticides but ... let's face it, only a madman would introduce parasitic wasp pupae in his pantry!
Traps based on pheromones
Betweenremedieswhich do not involve the use of harmful insecticides, we point out the possibility of decimating the populations offood mothsusing pheromone-based traps. Among the market proposals we point out the Celaflor pheromone traps proposed on Amazon at a price of € 10.63 with free shipping for those who buy two packs. These traps can be placed inside or outside the pantry, the important thing is to keep them away from drafts or light sources. It will be necessary to remove the protective film: lefood mothsattracted by pheromones, they will remain glued to the adhesive surface.
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In the photo above, an adult of Banded wheat moth, also called food moth or pasta moth ... In the photo in the center, the larval stage of food moths, also called pasta worm or food worm.In the last photo: food moth adults and parasitic wasp.