How do I get rid of moths?

The number of indian meal moths seems much worse this year than in the years past. How can I get rid of moths without the risk of pesticides?

Pheromone Moth Traps to the Rescue

When it comes to getting rid of moths, the gold standard pest control solution is a pheromone moth trap. These are typically made from a glue board and a pheromone soaked square that attracts the male indian meal moth, bird seed moth etc, and captures them. Capturing the male moths prevents the next round of moths from being conceived, a form of moth birth control.

But the moth trap doesn’t catch female moths?

If it doesn’t catch female moths, how can it get rid of moths?

Even though it is true that a Indian Meal Moth Trap is designed to attract the male meal moth, a female moth that happens to fly into the trap will be caught. But that also means that it is not uncommon to see a moth fly right past the trap; odds are if your were a Lepidopterist (Butterfly and Moth Expert) you’d find that the fly by was female moth. So how does this solve my problem? It sounds like I am only going to catch half the moths!

Generational Moth Control

Once the indian meal moth is flying, it has already eaten all the food it needs for its 6 week long life. The goal now is to find Mrs Moth and ensure survival of the moths! As it applies to moth pest control, it means that food lures won’t attract any male moth’s attention because they are on a single mission. Breed more moths.

So how does a pantry moth trap control the moth population? The focus of pheromone traps, is preventing the next generation of moths. If the next wave of moth infestation can be reduced by even 50% you are on your way to breaking the moth infestation cycle. And after several generation of moths, they will be under control, and no longer making you crazy.

No Thanks, I’ll just swat the moths

So if the moth traps are only going to catch the boys, and then If I am going to the girl moths, then why bother with the moth traps?

You could take this approach, but the problem with a moth infestation is that it grows exponentially. 10 moths this generation, lead to 50 moths, lead to 500 moths. In three generations of meal moths (the meal moth reproduction cycle takes about 4 weeks in warm weather), or 3 months you may be battling hundreds of moths.

But by using pheromone moth traps, even if you catch only 75% of the male moths, the next generation will be 75% smaller than the current generation, and after 3 generations of using the moth traps, the moth infestation will be over.

Pheromone Moth traps, effective generational moth control

So when you first see moths flying around your food areas, invest in enough moth traps to cover at least 3 generations of moths. Moth traps work, but it will take time to first control the infestation, and then to eliminate the moths. After the battle is over, always keep a single moth trap out as an early warning system to detect when Moths return ( Moths – A free gift in many grains ). When a moth land in it, get ready for another battle.


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