QLD product distributor Bugs for Bugs is offering two new solutions for controlling Indian meal moth: Cidetrack and Trichogramma.

Anyone working in the manufacture, storage or distribution of grain and nut based products knows that dealing with Indian meal moth (‘pantry moth’) infestations can be a major obstacle in delivering a premium product to the customer. Many businesses struggle to control Indian meal moth and have learnt to live with an annoying level of this pest, even though they have a good general pest control program in place. Any improvement in control of Indian meal moth would lead to greater production efficiencies and improve customer satisfaction.

Queensland-based company Bugs for Bugs are promoting two new Indian meal moth control options. The first product is a product new to the Australian market called Cidetrak, which works by releasing pheromone over a four to five month period. It has been available internationally for a number of years and has recently been granted a permit by the APVMA for use in Australia.

“Cidetrak is a significant advancement in the way we can manage the Indian meal moth problem”, said David Loxley, product manager at Bugs for Bugs.

With more than ten years of successful use in the USA and additional feedback from other countries, Mr Loxley has been aware of local interest and has been working with the American manufacturer to make the product available in Australia.

“Pheromones are the way insects communicate with each other to facilitate mating. Cidetrak is simply a plastic polymer, which is impregnated pheromone that disrupts the mating process. Cidetrak releases pheromone in the area to be protected, making it difficult for the male moth to find the female. This dramatically reduces the level of mating, resulting in a significant drop in larvae. This reduces pest numbers over time.

“With up to eight generations of Indian meal moth being possible per year, the controlled release over four to five months is key to the success of the product.”

Indian meal moth is not usually a pest consideration for bulk grain and commodity handlers, but once you move downstream towards packaged finished goods, the moth thrives. The larvae find their way in to the smallest openings in packaging and will typically taint a proportion of the contents.

“Though Cidetrak works well for Indian meal moth control, the best results will be achieved when its use is incorporated in to current management actions. Where necessary, the cornerstone of insect pest management has been the periodic use of pyrethrum based fogging product and the continued use of this will probably be necessary to control a broad range of pests,” added Mr Loxley.

“The launch of Cidetrak has given us the opportunity to further interact with industry and promote ideas like the use of Trichogramma.

“Bugs for Bugs also have available the Trichogramma wasp as a biocontrol option targeting the Indian meal moth. The wasps ‘sting’ the eggs of Indian meal moths so that larvae, and therefore moths, do not develop. These tiny wasps, less than half a millimetre long, have been used before in Australia and overseas.

“The wasps come on a board, each containing 60,000 moth eggs parasitised by Trichogramma. They are a ready-to-go option – the wasps emerge directly from the boards into the warehouse storage area.”

Bugs for Bugs welcome the involvement of pest control distributors and pest control managers, who would like to offer Cidetrak or Trichogramma to their clients.

“Both these products should be seen as a ‘bolt on’ opportunity for clients who are experiencing difficulty in controlling Indian meal moth using their current strategy. Neither Cidetrak or Trichogramma presents any risk to staff and do not require any changes to operational procedure. Additionally, neither product leaves any residue either on or in the products the clients are trying to protect.”

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