Tobacco Moths: How to Identify and Get Rid

How to get rid of tobacco moths isn’t a complicated process, you can get rid of tobacco moths without the help of a pest expert just by going through this DIY guide.

It’s normal to see moths occasionally outdoors, but spotting tobacco moth in your pantry could mean your foods infested. In this article, you will learn how to identify and treat tobacco moth infestation.


How to Identify Tobacco Moths

In any pest control plan, the first thing you should do is identify what exactly you’re dealing with. Carelessness with identification can lead to wrong treatment methods costing you time and money.

Tobacco moths also known as cacao moths or warehouse moths are common stored product pests with worldwide distribution.

Adult tobacco moths have a wingspan of about 16mm, the four wings are a light grayish brown with light colored bands, the hind wings are a fairly uniform tan color, and the antenna are slender and leg feathery.

Well, the site of adult moths typically signal that you may have an infestation or any real damage is done to your stored products by the larvae.

The larvae of these moths are typically 10 to 15mm in length, their bodies have some bristles which are cream white in color with brownish head, capsules and brownish body markings.

Tobacco moth larvae are voracious eaters and we’ll feed until they are ready to pupate any food. Their remains uneaten is soiled by excrement and webbing so there’s no saving.


Read also: How to Identify, Prevent & Get Rid of Indian Meal Moths


Picture of Tobacco Moths

Below are pictures of tobacco moths;

Tobacco Moths: How To Identify And Get RidTobacco Moths: How To Identify And Get Rid


Where Do I Find Tobacco Moths?

The second steps in any successful pest control process is knowing the right places to spot your pest and eliminate them properly.

Once, you know what your pests looks like, check around your property to confirm their presence or find hot spots of activity.

To confirm tobacco moths activity;

  1. Look in and around your pantry or where packaged foods are stored. If you find pupae among the shelves or other parts of the house, that’s a start.
  2. Focus on finding infested packages.
  3. Check inside packages for webbing larvae and moths.
  4. Tobacco moths primarily target tobacco products, cereals and seats, but they won’t hesitate to infest other foods.
  5. Be sure to check any drawers and shelving for tobacco moths.
  6. In cracks and crevices, larvae can heighten, take note of which foods are infested and where you’ve seen larvae.


Read also: What do Moths Eat? The Feeding Habits of Moths


How to Get Rid of Tobacco Moths

After identifying your pests and checking for signs of their activity on your property. It’s time for treatments before starting any treatment, be sure to wear your personal protective equipment or PPE.

Remember to keep all people and pets away from treated areas until dry.


1. Cleaning

The first up is to clean out your pantry, start by throwing out box and bag foodstuffs that sounds extreme but if you found at least one infested package.

Odds are, there are moths and larvae in your other packaged foods. These moths are able to invade packaging even the smallest gap to lay their eggs for everyone adult moths.


2. Vaccuming

Next, vacuum all cracks and crevices in your pantry shelving. Small pantry passes may be found in these tight spaces as they travel from place to place.

Be sure to dispose the vacuums contents outdoors. When you’re done wipe down the pantry shelves with water to clean up any food residue. Do not use any strong cleaners or bleach as these will keep pests away from the pesticides.


3. Apply Insecticides

You’ll apply once you’ve cleared and cleaned your pantry, treat these pests with products, like Pyrid and Novacide. Then use traps like pantry mock and beetle traps to catch and monitor for moths and larvae.


Pyrid Insecticide:

Pyrid is an insecticide aerosol that’s used as a flushing agent, it’s great to treat tight cracks and crevices where moths or other pantry pests may be hiding.

This product is made with pyrethrins a botanical insecticide, so it’s safe to use in food storage areas. You should still clear out your pantry and keep people and pets away from the area until the vapors have dispersed.


How to use Pyrid Insecticide

To use pyrid as a crack and crevice treatments, fixed the red applicator and straw to the spell, shake the can and apply along the length of your cracks and crevices in your pantry where any moths or their larvae could be hiding.

When treating cracks and crevices, cyprian quick bursts usually about one second of spray per foot. Pyrid does not leave a residual, but it’s kill in contact spray with a powerful knockdown. and quick kill next.


Novacide Insecticide:

Novacide insecticide is another insecticide aerosol, but this one contains an insect growth regulator or igr. This will disrupt the moths life cycle and prevent eggs larvae and pupae from developing into reproductive adults.

Additionally, Novacide has a long-lasting residual and will control treated areas for up to seven months.


How to use Novacide Insecticide

Apply Novacide insecticide as a spot treatment along the edges of your shelves. Just shake the can, hold it upside down and spray it on barrier where shelving meets the wall.

Affected moths will not be able to produce eggs and larvae and will not be able to develop into reproductive adults.


4. Using Traps

Once your chemical applications have dried, setup pro pasta pantry with beetle traps in your pantry to lure and catch flying moths.

These traps contain pheromones that attract many stored product pests, simply peel off the wax paper. Then fold the trap into a tense.

You can set the trap on a shelf or hang it to catch different crawling or flying insects. One trap will cover an area of up to 300 square feet. Any moths in the area will be drawn to the trap and we’ll get stuck on the glue.


Read also: How to Get Rid of Brown Tail Moths


How to Prevent Tobacco Moths

Prevention is essential to keeping pests in check. Even after you’ve applied pesticides, the best way to stop pest activity is to make sure it can happen.

Employ these tips to prevent infestations in the future;

  1. Try not to over stock your pantry shelves, the longer food just sits on the shelf, the more susceptible it becomes to infestation.
  2. When buying dry foods at the grocery store, examine the packaging, if you can see the product through transparent packaging try to look for any moth’s larvae.
  3. If you see any holes, rips tears or other openings, do not purchase the item up.
  4. It’s best to keep food in tight fitting or sealed containers, put cereals, grains, and flours in containers that can be sealed airtight.
  5. Pet food and bird seed are often overlooked and extremely conducive for pantry pests. So it’s important to also store your pet food in sealed containers.
  6. Keeping food in airtight containers, you can stop infestations from spreading.
  7. if an infestation starts inside of a sealed container that means the food was already infested with eggs before it went in and you can throw it out without risking the rest of your pantry.



Finally, keep up with regular pesticide applications to ensure protection throughout the year.  We recommend you apply twice a year for preventive control.

Be sure to check traps regularly and replace them every three months. Tobacco moths can break out and infest entire pantries worth of food quickly but there are ways to control an infestation that’s gone out of hand.

With these pro products and tips you can stop tobacco moths and other stored product pests from taking over your pantry.

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