They are not welcome guests in any kitchen: food moths eat through paper and plastic to get to our supplies. This not only sounds disgusting, but is also harmful to your health.

Food moths are not a sign of poor hygiene. In fact, at least the households can do something about it, should their supplies be nibbled by the little pests. “An infestation in the home occurs less frequently by flying through an open window, but mostly by passive introduction via food or packaging material such as cardboard boxes that has already been infested with eggs or larvae,” explains the Federal Environment Agency. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the problem that the animals – once they have spread – are difficult to drive away. And that their legacies can lead to health problems. That’s why you need to fight the food moths. The best way to do this is summarized below.

How to recognize a possible infestation

Although they are only a few millimeters in size, they are easy to see due to their brownish color on a white background: food moths are nocturnal and rest on the walls during the day – this means you can spot the pests quite quickly. The females can fly, but only over short distances once they have been fertilized. Accordingly, they usually crawl or hop when they are looking for a suitable place for their eggs. And you can already guess what the moths are after: your food, preferably grain and flour, legumes and nuts, rice and seeds, tea and chocolate, dried and dried fruit or even animal feed.

Once they have reached their destination, they know no stopping and even bite through paper and plastic bags. After their larvae hatch, they will attack and contaminate your stores. You can recognize the infestation by thread-like webs that act like thin cobwebs and stick the food together. Unlike moths, the larvae are diurnal, but their white color makes them difficult to spot on white walls. This allows them to spread unhindered if the pests are not recognized in time. Because the fact is: A female food moth can lay up to 500 eggs, so that after a short time you have a real plague in the house.

How to fight food moths

Another tip: You can also use the trap if you suspect food moths to find out whether the pests have infested your food.

Natural enemy: parasitic wasps fight moths

If you don’t like the pheromone trap, you can rely on parasitic wasps to biologically combat the food moths. The animals are so small that they can hardly be seen with the naked eye. Nevertheless, they are very useful in the fight against kitchen pests: After the wasps have hatched, they use the moth eggs to lay their own eggs. As a result, the larvae die – and the parasitic wasps disappear again when there are no more moth eggs. The exact instructions can be found in the packaging. Here you can get the parasitic wasps.

How to prevent food moths

You can take preventive measures to prevent food moths from making themselves at home in your kitchen:

Tip: use an anti-moth spray with natural ingredients like essential oils. You can get the spray here.

How dangerous are food moths?

Even if the food moths themselves are not dangerous to humans, their webs and droppings are harmful to health. The consumption of infested products can trigger allergies as well as skin diseases and gastrointestinal diseases. It is all the more important to discover and combat the pests in good time. Except that their legacies are just plain gross.

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