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SEX PHEROMONES CONTROL PANTRY MOTH

A pheromone-disrupting product aimed at controlling pantry pests has arrived on the Australian market. 

Pest managers tackling Indian meal moth problems are reporting encouraging results following the first seasons use of Cidetrak, resulting in strong product uptake from distributors.

The control of Indian meal moth (‘pantry moth’) infestations can be a major obstacle in delivering premium food products to the customer. Many businesses have struggled to control Indian meal moth and have learnt to live with an annoying level of this pest, even though they often have a good general pest control program in place. The availability of Cidetrak in Australia has enabled an improvement in control of Indian meal moth leading to greater production efficiencies and improved customer satisfaction.

Cidetrak is not a trap and it does not kill months, it works by releasing mating disruption pheromone over a 4-5 month period, resulting in less mating, fewer larvae and lower rates of infestation.

It has been available internationally for a number of years and has recently been granted a permit by the APVMA for use in Australia. Queensland based company Bugs for Bugs, who hold the permit, have partnered with Globe Australia to service the pest control companies who are face to face with customers on a regular basis.

“Cidetrak has already achieved significant uptake in the Victorian market in the eight months since its launch”, said Sean Fleming, Victorian manager at Globe Australia.

After learning about more than ten years of successful use in the USA and additional feedback from other countries, Mr Fleming could see why local interest would also be high for this new concept in moth control.

“Pheromone use is new to most of our clients, so we had to explain how sex pheromones are used in insect communication to facilitate mating. We could then explain how the pheromones in Cidetrak disrupt the mating process.

Once this new control method is accepted, there are two main reasons the product is being accepted. The first is that Cidetrak is simply a plastic polymer, which is impregnated with the pheromone, so it is easy to handle and service – the client does not have to change any procedures or work practices to use Cidetrak. The second reason is that the product works!

“With up to eight generations of Indian meal moth being possible per year, the controlled release over a 4-5 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 there 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 Fleming.

“The launch of Cidetrak has given Globe Australia and our customers the opportunity to further interact with industry and add value.

“Pest managers are able to provide a range of services, depending on the needs of their clients. As was seen following the launch of Cidetrak overseas, the use of Cidetrak has allowed pest managers to provide new services – quite often they are becoming ‘hands on’ in that they are actually installing the dispensers, supplying and servicing monitoring traps, and then re-installing dispensers after four months.”

Globe Australia have concentrated their efforts with Cidetrak in the Victorian market during this first season, and are now planning a national rollout for the spring.

“Cidetrak should be seen as a ‘bolt on’ opportunity for clients who are experiencing difficulty in controlling Indian meal moth using their current strategy. Cidetrak presents no risk to staff and does not require any changes to operational procedures of either the pest controller or their customer. Additionally, the product leaves no residue either on or in the products the clients are trying to protect.”

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