Under the name "food moth", the people are understood as several types of fires - small butterflies, caterpillars that feed on cereals, nuts and groceries. Each of these species has its own characteristics, however, despite the fact that outwardly different types of food moths are very different from each other, especially nobody wants to understand them and is simply looking for ways to get rid of these pests.
At the same time, there is no easy and universal instruction on how to remove food moths - because of the specific feeding habits of these butterflies, conventional methods such as aerosol insecticides are not suitable (after all, poison can get into food). Therefore, the fight against food moths is always a troublesome and resource-intensive exercise.
It is interesting
Prior to the development of human civilization, all types of firing were quite inconspicuous participants in natural biocenoses, and their caterpillars were fed with seeds of grasses and trees. But with the advent of granaries, barns and warehouses, and especially with the beginning of the active transportation of goods between countries and continents, the food moth quickly spread throughout the world and became a real cosmopolitan, effectively infecting the grain in Argentina, China and Chad. Even today, even industrial methods of combating food moths do not always cope with its destructive activity.
Types of food moths and features of their morphology
If you look at photos of different types of food moth, you can wonder how they are generally confused and united under one name. For example, in the photo below - flour flour, one of the most common in the apartment of food moths:
And further on, the photo shows a milling mill, less flashy and more rare in residential buildings:
But the southern barn fire, which has a beautiful figure on its wings. It often turns out to be the most difficult to withdraw:
And in the photo below you can see what a cocoa fireball looks like - a usual food moth, which is easily confused with the clothes because of the inconspicuous light yellow color of the wings:
But in general, any food moth looks inconspicuous, even despite the pattern on the wings of some of its species. All of them are butterflies of discreet colors and small sizes.
Usually the length of the wings does not exceed 7-8 mm, while sitting on the surface, the insect folds them and becomes like a small protrusion on the surface. It is not surprising that a simple view of a resident of a city apartment is usually not able to catch a difference in the coloration of these butterflies.
On a note
For the unprepared resident of the big city, the food and clothing moth are very similar. The easiest way to distinguish them from the meeting places is that the clothing moth rarely catches the eye in the kitchen, and the food moth, on the contrary, does not pay attention to the wardrobes and bedrooms.
But larvae of food moths are all on one "face". These are small (up to one and a half centimeters) white-yellow or white-pink caterpillars with no hair or outgrowths on the body. Usually, in appearance, it is impossible to determine whether the caterpillar belongs to this or that firefly. Fortunately, it is possible to deduce them all in the same ways, and the species belonging to the larvae for this purpose is not necessary.
For example, in the photo below - a larva of food moths flour flour:
And in the next picture - a larva of cocoa fire. Even despite the obvious difference in the coloration of adult butterflies, their larvae are very similar:
On a note
Larvae of food moths lead a secretive and inactive way of life. Usually, they come across the eyes or in infected foods, or when crawling out of the puppets for pupation. In this case, they move around the walls and attract attention. In the photo there is such an adult and ready to pupate larva of food moths.
Food moth: little biology
Food moth is a pest with a fairly short cycle of reproduction. At a suitable temperature and humidity of air from the egg to the egg takes about two months, and sometimes - and six weeks.
Optimal conditions for the development of butterfly moths are the temperature of about 25 ° C and humidity of about 50%. With such air parameters, they develop the fastest, and it is very difficult to derive them.
Adult butterfly moths do not eat at all: they do not have a mouthpiece and do not have a digestive system. And they do not live very long - about a week, mating literally on the first or second day after leaving the pupa. The remaining few days of the female are dedicated to laying off a hundred and a half eggs where the future offspring will find enough feed, and the males look for other females or die.
In general, taking into account the larval stage, the food moth lives about a month and a half. Of these, a week or two is spent on metamorphosis in the pupal stage.
Almost always the food moth reproduces in the same place where its larvae live. Only in some cases adult insects mate away from grocery, and females then return to the food environment.
Pest in the apartment: how he gets here, where he lives and what he eats
Moth larvae eat groceries. And the food moth eats almost everything indiscriminately: cereals, flour, sugar, cocoa, nuts, dried fruits, bread, crackers, cookies, not very spicy spices, unmilled grain, etc.
Larvae of food moths are particularly numerous in grain warehouses, which can cause significant damage. Each species has its own preferences for food, but in general the range of foods for each fire is wide. In an apartment of any kind of food moth eats almost any grocery products.
Thus, wherever there is dry food, a food moth can start.
In the photo there are dry apricots, among which are food moth larvae. When mass contamination of large volumes from such a product, a mole can be extremely difficult to excrete:
Each larva of food moths not only eats the product in which they live, but constantly braids themselves with a cocoon made of silk. So in the groats or flour appear "incomprehensible" lumps and pellets, and in nuts - neat nests with a worm inside.
It is important to understand that the food moth is a very bad flyer. She can not spread herself between houses, let alone between food warehouses and apartments, and in the apartment a food moth is taken only with purchases and food from a supermarket. The food moth is also planted in industrial storages: its larvae are transported in grain from one warehouse to another, and their descendants already master abundant food sources.
Harm from food moths
The main harm of food moths is the spoilage of food. The moth-eaten grocery is no longer possible to eat, and in industrial warehouses, contaminated products are not suitable for sale.
In case of serious contamination in the warehouse, the food moth is dangerous because of large product losses and a strong decrease in its quality.
On a note
It is the moth-infected and re-cleaned products that go to the market at bargain prices - they need to be sold somehow. And when buying them, an ordinary city dweller risks bringing a pest with them to his house.
The food moth does not eat clothes and is not dangerous for the wardrobe. This, however, does not mean that in the presence of food moths in the room you should not worry about things: the ward and food moths do not interfere with each other and can quite cohabite in one apartment, while the eyes will mostly come from food moths. In any case, the mole should be removed from the very first signs of its detection in the house.
Fighting the food moth: measures and means
It is necessary to fight the food moth at all stages of its development. It is not true that if only larvae harm, then only them must be destroyed: each flying female moth lays up to 160 eggs in different places, from which within a week new caterpillars will appear.
Therefore, it is necessary to destroy the food moth in a complex way:
- First you need to find the sources of development of the larvae - to sort through all the food products in which caterpillars can live, carefully check all the old food reserves. When detecting contaminated products - throw them out or warm in the oven at a temperature of not less than 60 ° C for half an hour. This is the most reliable way to get the majority of pests out of the house.
- To destroy eggs, larvae and adult butterflies in kitchen cabinets and bedside tables their surfaces must be treated with aerosol insecticides - Armol, Antimol, Raptor from food moths, Combat. Especially carefully choose what to eat with a food moth, not necessarily - the destruction of food moths with aerosol preparations implies a kind of "auxiliary" operation, in which only a very small part of insects perishes. In the course of this operation, it is important not to let the poison enter food.
- Adult butterflies flying around in the kitchen can be destroyed by sticky ribbons for flies, fly swatters and a simple newspaper. They fly badly and can not even slip away from the slipper. Traps from food moths are also good, specially designed to attract adult individuals.
A good tool for capturing butterflies is the trap for food moths Aeroxon. It attracts butterflies with a smell, and its glutinous surface does not dry out for a long time. Buy such a trap for food moth can be via the Internet or in some hardware stores. The cost of it is about 200 rubles:
Simpler methods of combating food moth have not yet been developed. In industrial plants moths use fumigators based on phosphine and spraying grain with contact insecticides. It is impossible to carry out such processing of food products indoors.
Measures to protect the home from contamination with food moths
Know how to kill a food moth - useful, but not enough to protect the premises from the pest. It is much more sensible not to let him into the house at all, taking several steps to prevent the contamination of the apartment with a food moth. Among such measures:
- careful check of all products when buying
- avoidance of grocery products with a deliberately low price
- purchase of food that will be eaten within one week
- use of repellent moth funds.
To comply with the last point it is useful to know what the food moth is afraid of . Among its deterrent substances are strongly smelling herbs (wormwood, tansy, lavender, rosemary), essential oils, fresh orange peels, household and strawberry soap, vinegar, cones of horse chestnut.
It is important only to remember that if, for example, in a locker with neatly spread lavender put a jar with a manga infected with moth, the larvae in the croup will not perish, and later butterflies will not be afraid of lavender itself. That is why it is so important to implement all preventive measures in the complex.