This document contains information about the biology and management of the Indian meal moth. wide range of management options is listed. From this list, the IPM Practitioner can choose options to develop a unique management plan for each particular customer site.
What do you want/need to accomplish at the site in regard to the Indian meal moths?
The answer to this question will vary, depending on the site and the customer. Some examples are:
Indian meal moths are the most common food-infesting moth found in homes, grocery stores, and any place with dried or stored food. They are general feeders upon grain and grain products, dried fruit and other stored food products. No diseases are associated with Indian meal moths.
California Health and Safety Code Sections that relate to beetles and cleanliness in food establishments:
114010. “All food shall be prepared, stored, displayed, dispensed, placed, transported, sold, and served as to be protected from dirt, vermin, unnecessary handling, droplet contamination, overhead leakage, or other contamination.”
114030. “A food facility shall at all times be so constructed, equipped, maintained, and operated as to prevent the entrance and harborage of animals, birds, and vermin, including, but not limited to, rodents and insects.”
114040. “The premises of each food facility shall be kept clean and free of litter, rubbish, and vermin.”
114050. “All food facilities and all equipment, utensils, and facilities shall be kept clean, fully operative, and in good repair.”
Article 11 Section 581 of the San Francisco Department of Public Health code states that:
“No person shall have upon any premises or real property owned, occupied, or controlled by him or her, or it any public nuisance.”
Public health nuisances are defined as:
Any noxious insect harborage or infestation including, but not limited to cockroaches, bed bugs, fleas, scabies, lice, spiders or other arachnids, houseflies, wasps and mosquitoes…”
To be successful, management strategies must take into consideration the biology and behavior of the Indian Meal Moth. Understanding the biology of a pest can reveal weaknesses and vulnerabilities that can be exploited when trying to manage the pest.
The purpose of monitoring is to track pest activity in order to catch small problems before they become overwhelming. Monitoring also makes it possible to properly time pest management actions and to evaluate the effectiveness of those actions. Records are kept to document the methods and products used and to record information that can be used to fine-tune pest management methods and plan future actions.
Visual inspection of likely infestation and breeding sites is the most useful monitoring technique.
The “tolerance level” is the number of Indian meal moths that triggers action to control the pest. The tolerance level is site-specific and differs depending on the customer, the location, and other factors. Determining the tolerance levels for a site helps prioritize work that must be done to control the pest.
Pests need food, water and shelter to survive. If even just one of these factors can be reduced (or eliminated), the environment will support lower pests and pests will be less likely to invade our living spaces.
To limit food and water availability
Physical controls employ physical means to remove grain beetles or prevent their movement within a structure.
Pheromone traps have been very successful at trapping Indian meal moths. This particular trap only attracts males and is used to monitor activity during infestations. Pheromone traps can also be useful in capturing those moths that were overlooked during inspection.
The PCO-Customer Partnership is Very Important
IPM works best when the customer and Pestec form a partnership to tackle the pest problem. Indian meal moths cannot be managed satisfactorily without the cooperation of the customer, especially in the area of sanitation. Pestec will discuss the findings of the initial inspection and any subsequent monitoring sessions with the customer to determine which issues and tasks will be the responsibility of Pestec and which will be the responsibility of the customer.
Information is a powerful tool in IPM. Information can help change people’s behavior, particularly in how they store food and dispose of waste. Changing these behaviors is often an invaluable part of managing Indian meal moths. Buildings occupants and homeowners can also help in the early detection of pests so that Pestec can be alerted before the problem is severe.
Pestec’s highly trained and knowledgeable staff can provide pest management education or training sessions for facilities managers, risk managers, building occupants, homeowner associations, and others.