The flour moth (Plodia interpunctella) is a fairly common omnivorous insect that infests food.
It is very prolific, in fact the female is able to lay from a minimum of 100 to over 400 eggs, with an incubation between 3 and 8 days depending on the ambient temperature.
The moth tend to deposit the larvae in food such as flour, pasta, rice, seeds, spices and dried fruit and to use them as a source of food; in fact, we can meet them quite easily also in the pantry of the house.
They are not dangerous, they do not sting and do not bite, but they can cause irritation or allergic phenomena in some people and they can still be quite annoying.
By developing inside the food and feeding on it, they cause the depletion of the stock, but above all their contamination with the production of excrements, deposits, etc..
The infestation is possible in two ways: the food can be deposited without our knowledge and the larvae can remain latent throughout the development phase, but the moth can reach the food also thanks to their ability to move in flight, attracted by the odorous traces.
In the prevention of this insect much depends on the state of conservation of the food that if well closed and sealed do not emit traces and therefore can not be detected.
In the case of infestation, adequate and regular cleaning and orderly food management are essential to combat the problem.
In addition, it is essential to eliminate infested foods and quarantine neighbouring foods where there could still be larvae at the stage of development.
In the home environment, the problems caused by this insect are limited, but the situation risks becoming serious in those companies that use, produce or package food products, such as mills, pasta factories or supermarkets.
The larvae are very voracious and have a very robust dental system that allows them to pierce food packaging as well.
In professional pest control, the monitoring activity is fundamental to understand the extent of the problem and is carried out by means of glue baits that attract the moth with sex pheromones or light traps.
The professional pest exterminator will also select the specific products for the intervention according to the extent of the infestation.