|What flies around my kitchen?|
Larva of the moth food
Plodia interpunctella, the Indianmeal moth (also called pantry moth) is the most common food moth.
The food moths belong to the family of pyralid moths.
Soon after fertilization, the female pantry moth lays about 200 to 300 white eggs. The cycle of fertilization, egg laying, hatching and the larval stages of the moth takes about 6 weeks. The moths eggs are often hidden in tiny cracks. The moth itself lives only up to two weeks. Food moths do not like the cold, they prefer a warm environment where 3-6 generations can develop every year. Under perfect conditions even more.
Their sense of smell is extremely well developed, which allows them to smell food over a very long distance.
The larva of the moth food.
The small larvae are repulsive little worms that you will find on the walls or in hiding places of your kitchen. In the first larval stage, the white to pinkish larva will reach a length of about 1 mm. After several weeks they develop into their final larval stages and reach up to 20 mm. These fully grown larvae are able to crawl up to 40 meters.
You can find the larvae in the storage cabinets. They eat mainly flour, other grain products, cereals, rice, maize, spices, tea, pasta, chocolate and nuts. Often they are also found in dried fruits and in dry pet food.
With their mouth mandibles they manage to pierce through plastics and other packaging materials in order to reach the food.
The consumption of food contaminated by pantry moths can cause allergic reactions as well as stomach irritation and disorders. Therefore, the small larvae are not only disgusting but also a health hazard. Infested food and food products will be spoiled by the larval excrements and by various fungi which the insects carry on their skin. Contaminated food should not be consumed but disposed of.
The solution: The micro-insect Trichogramma
The Solution: Trichogramma is a tiny insect that lays its eggs inside the eggs of the food moth and destroys these.
Trichogramma evanescens are microscopically small but useful micro-insects and purely beneficial. Their life span lasts for just a few days. Their eggs hatch after eight to ten days and the new micro-insects will then search and find other moth eggs. The cycle repeats itself.
If the Trichogramma insects do not find any more moth eggs, they disappear almost without a trace (they leave the building or die and simply turn into dust).
Trichogramma insects: They are smaller than a pin head or an apostrophe: '(approximately 0.3 mm).
You will not notice the presence of these micro-insects in the kitchen. They rarely fly and prefer to find the moth eggs by walking.
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