Cacao moths, belonging to the Pyralidae family of small moths, are a common nuisance in stored food products. The primary source of harm inflicted by this pest is predominantly attributed to the extensive utilization of their webbing and the accumulation of their excrement during their larval phase.
Throughout their life cycle, they exhibit a strong inclination towards invading and inhabiting stored edibles, hay, and various other food supplies.
These pesky nuisances are typically brought into your humble abode or infest your stored goods through the introduction of other contaminated items.
While it is true that the presence of an adult cacao moth in flight may be concerning, rest assured that there are effective methods to control the infestation.
By promptly implementing the recommended products and following the tips outlined in this article, you can successfully address the issue.
Keep reading to find out more!
Step 1: How To Identify the Cacao Moth?
- The adult cacao moths exhibit a delightful light brownish-gray hue on their upper wings, adorned with the presence of two exquisite light-coloured bands that elegantly extend across each forewing.
The hind wings exhibit a consistent tan hue, while the antennae possess a slender structure devoid of any feathery adornments.
- The pest in question bears a striking resemblance to the tropical warehouse moth, commonly referred to as the almond moth.
However, it is important to note that this particular pest possesses more pronounced wing markings and is highly intolerant to fluctuating temperature conditions, unlike its counterpart, the cacao moth.
- In their mature stage, these pests can boast a wingspan of up to a whopping 16 millimetres (or 0.625 inches) when measured from one wingtip to the other.
- The larvae typically measure between 10 and 15 millimetres in length, as per our expertise in pest control.
The bodies of these pests are adorned with bristles and boast a cream-white hue, complemented by head capsules and body markings of a delightful brownish shade.
- When these pesky larvae make their move from their cosy habitats, they’ll go ahead and start constructing their pupal cases, getting ready for their next life stage.
The pupal cases exhibit a distinct whitish hue, allowing for clear visibility of the pupae contained within, which range in colour from yellow to brown.
Step 2: How To Inspect For Cacao Moth?
As esteemed pest control experts, we would like to inform you that, similar to the behaviour of many moths, the adult cacao moth tends to exhibit heightened activity during nocturnal hours.
It is worth noting that these moths have a tendency to flutter towards the upper regions of structures, particularly the ceiling.
If you happen to spot an adult moth making itself at home indoors, it could be a sign that these sneaky critters have potentially deposited their eggs on stored products or even on remnants of food sources nestled within machinery.
The larvae of cacao moths exhibit an insatiable appetite, consuming copious amounts of sustenance until they reach the stage of pupation.
As pest control experts, we want to inform you that any leftover food can become contaminated with excrement and webbing from unwanted visitors.
Regrettably, once a package or stored item has become infested, there is no way to salvage it, as per our expertise in pest control.
As seasoned pest control experts, we highly recommend thoroughly inspecting the contents of your packages for any signs of webbing, larvae, or moths.
Ensure thorough inspection of all drawers and shelving for potential cracks and crevices where larvae may seek refuge.
We kindly request your attention to the identification of food items that have been unfortunately invaded by unwanted pests, as well as the precise locations where you have encountered the presence of larvae.
One of the telltale indications of cacao moth larvae infestation is the presence of granular frass (excrement) found on and within food items.
This frass typically resembles ground pepper in size and appearance. Once fully matured, these pesky critters will abandon their feast and make their way towards the entrance of the packaging, where they will commence the pupation process.
Cacao moths are commonly detected in various packaged or stored items, such as tobacco, cereals, grains, processed flours, nuts, dried fruits, cocoa beans, cocoa powder, seeds, feed, and chocolate products.
In agricultural settings, the larvae of this pest can also infest straw or hay, causing significant damage. As pest control experts, we understand the importance of addressing this issue promptly and effectively.
Indoors, we commonly find these pesky critters lurking in areas where food is stored, such as pantries or cabinets. They can also invade food handling equipment, causing quite a nuisance.
In the great outdoors, we’re talking about the interior of any structure capable of harbouring these items, such as garages, barns, warehouses, sheds, and beyond.
Step 3: How To Treat Against Cacao Moth?
- Apply Pyrid Insecticide Aerosol:
To ensure optimal pest control, it is advisable to conduct a thorough crack and crevice treatment using a highly effective aerosol insecticide such as Pyrid Insecticide Aerosol and Novacide Flea and Tick Killer, before returning all food items to their designated locations.
Pyrid Insecticide is a highly effective solution for combating various pest infestations. With its potent formula, Pyrid Insecticide offers unparalleled Aerosol, a highly effective synthetic pyrethroid aerosol, that is recommended for the purpose of eliminating tobacco moth larvae.
It is specifically designed to target and eliminate these larvae from various areas such as cracks, crevices, and corners found in pantries, cabinets, as well as food processing and handling equipment.
By applying this aerosol, you can effectively flush out these larvae from their hiding spots and eradicate them upon contact, ensuring a pest-free environment.
This product incorporates pyrethrins, a botanical insecticide, which renders it suitable for application in food storage areas.
However, it is advisable to evacuate your pantry or food storage area and ensure that individuals and pets are kept at a distance until the vapours have dissipated.
For optimal utilization of the Pyrid Insecticide Aerosol in crack and crevice treatments, it is recommended to interchange the white actuator with the red one and securely affix the application straw to the spout.
Ensure that you vigorously shake the canister before proceeding with the application. Proceed to diligently spray the designated areas, specifically targeting the cracks and crevices within your pantry.
These particular spaces are known to harbour moths and their larvae, making them prime locations for treatment.
When addressing cracks and crevices, it is advisable to administer sprays in short bursts, typically lasting approximately 1 second per foot.
While Pyrid may not exhibit residual properties, it is indeed an exceptional contact spray that boasts an impressive knockdown effect and swift elimination of pests.
When engaging in the application of spray, it is imperative to adhere to the recommended duration of no more than 10 seconds per room or 10 seconds per 100 cubic feet in commercial spaces.
To effectively address any adult or larvae pests within your visual range, it is recommended to utilize Pyrid Insecticide Aerosol. Apply this solution by administering short bursts from a distance of 18-24 inches.
For optimal pest control, it is recommended to administer Novacide Flea and Tick Killer. Novacide Flea and Tick Killer is an exceptional insecticide aerosol that boasts the added advantage of containing an insect growth regulator or IGR.
By implementing this strategy, we will effectively interrupt the life cycle of the moths, thereby impeding the growth and development of their eggs, larvae, and pupae into mature reproductive adults.
Moreover, Novacide boasts an impressive extended residual effect, effectively managing treated areas for a remarkable duration of 7 months.
For optimal pest control, it is recommended to utilize the highly effective Novacide Flea and Tick Killer as a spot treatment along the edges of your shelves.
To effectively address the issue at hand, it is recommended to vigorously agitate the canister, ensuring that its contents are well-mixed.
Subsequently, maintain a firm grip on the canister while inverting it, allowing the nozzle to face downwards. Proceed by skillfully applying a fine mist of the product along the juncture where the shelving unit and the wall converge, thereby establishing a protective barrier.
The moths that have been impacted will experience a significant reduction in their ability to lay eggs, thereby hindering the growth of their larvae into mature, reproductive adults.
- Setup Moth Traps:
After the completion of the chemical applications, it is advisable to strategically position pantry moth traps such as the highly effective Pro-Pest Pantry Moth & Beetle Traps within your pantry area.
These traps are specifically designed to attract and capture airborne moths, ensuring a comprehensive approach to your pest control efforts.
These specially designed traps are equipped with highly effective pheromones that are specifically formulated to attract a wide range of stored product pests.
To effectively address your pest concerns, it is recommended to carefully remove the wax paper from the trap and proceed by skillfully folding it into a tent-like structure.
To effectively address the presence of various crawling or flying insects, it is advisable to strategically position the trap either on a shelf or suspend it.
Our highly effective Pro-Pest Pantry Moth & Beetle Traps have the capability to efficiently cover an expansive area of up to 300 sq. ft.
The trap will effectively attract any moths present in the vicinity, subsequently causing them to become ensnared on the adhesive surface.
For optimal pest control coverage and effective management of mass infestations, we highly recommend the utilization of multiple traps.
It is highly recommended to adhere to a regular schedule of revisiting the traps on a weekly basis. This will allow for timely maintenance, ensuring optimal effectiveness.
If the traps become fully occupied or accumulate dust, it is advisable to promptly replace them. Our recommended product has a lifespan ranging from 60 to 90 days.
- Trash Contaminated Food:
If one were to observe the presence of these bothersome pests within the confines of their abode, it would be prudent to embark upon a comprehensive examination of their pantry and other designated spaces wherein comestibles or grain-based substances are stored.
Regrettably, all items that exhibit signs of contamination will require proper disposal. As pest control consultants, we highly recommend thoroughly inspecting any items that have been closed or are brand new for any signs of pest activity.
If you happen to come across any indications of pests, it is crucial to promptly dispose of these items in an outdoor garbage container located at a considerable distance from your home’s foundation and any areas where food or grain materials are stored.
If we come across a food-type item that is infested, it is highly probable that the remaining foodstuffs in that particular area may also be affected.
In order to effectively manage the presence of cacao moth larvae, it is highly recommended to promptly eliminate any food items in the vicinity of the infested product.
As pest control consultants, we understand that it may seem drastic, but it is crucial to be aware that these persistent pests possess the ability to infiltrate even the tiniest crevices in order to deposit their eggs.
As pest control consultants, it is crucial to understand the potential risks associated with adult moths. Each adult moth you come across may indicate the presence of numerous eggs, up to a staggering 300, lurking within your foodstuffs, eagerly awaiting their chance to hatch.
Once all infested items have been properly disposed of, it is recommended to proceed with thorough vacuuming of the affected area, paying close attention to the corners.
It is crucial that the contents residing within the vacuum are promptly and appropriately discarded in an exterior receptacle designated for waste disposal.
When dealing with larger storage areas, it is highly recommended to employ the effective technique of sweeping with a broom.
This meticulous approach guarantees the complete elimination of any food, grain, or hay materials that may be present within the premises.
As pest control consultants, we highly recommend taking proactive measures when dealing with cacao moth larvae. In this case, we advise removing the food storage shelf to prevent any further infestation.
It is crucial to thoroughly clean the pegs and the areas where the screws were located, using a toothpick for precise cleaning. By following these steps, you can effectively address the issue at hand.
To effectively address the issue of food residue in your pantry shelves or areas, we recommend employing a thorough cleansing technique.
This involves utilizing water to wipe down the affected surfaces, thereby eliminating any remnants of contaminated food.
We strongly advise against the use of any potent cleaners or bleach, as these substances may inadvertently deter pests from coming into contact with the pesticides that you intend to apply.
Where Can the Pest Control Products Be Purchased?
Read also: 4 Steps To Get Rid of the Almond Moth
Step 4: How To Prevent Cacao Moth?
- Regular and consistent sanitization of your garage, kitchen, pantry, cabinet, and other storage areas is highly recommended to minimize the presence of attractants that may entice the cacao moth.
To effectively prevent the infestation of cacao moths, it is highly recommended to meticulously cleanse your counters, shelves, floor, and corners of food storage areas.
Utilize a cloth soaked in warm water to diligently eliminate any crumbs, food aromas, or other residue that may serve as attractive breeding grounds for these pests.
By diligently following this practice, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of cacao moths laying eggs in these susceptible sites.
To effectively manage your pest control concerns, we recommend implementing a comprehensive floor maintenance routine.
This includes diligently vacuuming, mopping, and sweeping the floors to eliminate any potential pest habitats.
Additionally, it is crucial to promptly dispose of the trash by transferring it to an outdoor garbage can, as this will help prevent pests from being attracted to your premises.
As pest control consultants, we strongly advise against overstocking your pantry shelves. As pest control consultants, we would like to emphasize the importance of timely consumption of food items.
When food remains on the shelf for extended periods, it becomes increasingly vulnerable to potential infestation issues.
- We highly recommend addressing any cracks and crevices that could potentially act as favorable hiding spots for cacao moth larvae.
To effectively combat this issue, we suggest employing a residual insecticide such as Novacide Flea and Tick Killer.
We strongly advise against the usage of this product in food areas of food handling establishments, restaurants, or any other areas involved in the commercial preparation or processing of food.
As pest control consultants, we strongly advise against any actions that may result in the contamination of food or feedstuffs.
- When purchasing dry foods at the grocery store, it is highly recommended to thoroughly inspect the packaging.
When inspecting the product through its transparent packaging, it is advisable to carefully observe for the presence of any moths, larvae, or other potential pests.
If any openings, such as holes, rips, tears, or other breaches, catch your attention, kindly refrain from acquiring the said item.
As pest control consultants, we highly recommend that you prioritize conducting regular routine checks on all stored and packaged food, as well as dry plant material, within your home, barn, garage, and other structures.
As pest control consultants, we highly recommend conducting thorough inspections of even newly purchased or recently introduced sealed containers in your home.
This proactive measure is crucial in preventing potential infestations by cacao moth larvae.
- As pest control consultants, we highly recommend storing your food in containers that have a tight-fitting or sealed design.
To effectively mitigate the presence of pests, it is highly recommended to store cereals, grains, and flour in containers that possess airtight seals.
Pet food and bird seed, unfortunately, tend to be commonly disregarded as potential sources of infestation for pantry pests.
It is crucial to emphasize the significance of storing your pet food in securely sealed containers. To effectively prevent the spread of infestations, it is highly recommended to store food in air-tight containers.
In the event that an infestation commences within a securely sealed container, it is indicative that the food item was already harbouring eggs of the pest prior to its placement.
Consequently, it is advisable to promptly dispose of the affected item, thereby mitigating any potential risk of spreading the infestation to the remainder of your pantry.
- To maintain optimal protection, it is advisable to adhere to a consistent schedule of pesticide applications throughout the year.
For optimal pest control, we highly advise implementing the Novacide Flea and Tick Killer residual treatment twice a year. This proactive approach ensures effective prevention against these pesky intruders.
To ensure optimal protection in outdoor and nonfood/nonfeed areas, we highly recommend the regular reapplication of Flex 10-10 every 90 days.
This will effectively eliminate pests upon contact and serve as a proactive measure to prevent future infestations.
As pest control consultants, we highly recommend regularly inspecting and monitoring your Pro-Pest Pantry Moth & Beetle Traps to ensure optimal effectiveness.
It is crucial to diligently replace these traps every 3 months to maintain their efficiency in combating pantry moths and beetles.
Watch an Explanatory Video on Effective Cacao Moth Control
In conclusion, the first step in eliminating cacao moths is to identify and discard any compromised items and food within your household and storage areas such as the garage or barn.
To achieve complete control, it is recommended to dispose of all food and product items present at the activity site.
It is necessary to treat all cracks, crevices, and voids with Pyrid Insecticide Aerosol in order to effectively flush out and eliminate cacao moth larvae once all products have been removed.
It is recommended to use Pyrid Insecticide Aerosol to directly spray any adult pests or larvae that are visible.
It is recommended to lay out cacao moth traps like the Pro-Pest Pantry Moth & Beetle Traps after completing chemical applications.
It is recommended to use Flex 10-10 and Tekko Pro IGR to effectively control adult and larvae stages in nonfood/nonfeed areas.
Thanks for reading!