Mosquitoes flying around

How to Keep Moths Away From Your Warehouse

March 04, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

A warehouse moth infestation can sometimes go undetected for weeks or months. Their presence in a warehouse can contaminate food and tobacco stores, damage products, and lead to substantial financial losses. 

What causes moth infestations?

Moths make their way into warehouses by hitching a ride on incoming crates or arriving hidden inside foods and products. They can also fly in through open receiving dock doorways, entrances, or windows.

These pests can reproduce and infest a warehouse rapidly. They leave their eggs and larvae behind, which can contaminate stored items such as grains, cocoa beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and tobacco products. 

Warehouse moths don’t limit their intake to human food sources. They’ll also munch on paper, leather, fabrics, and upholstery, causing damage to warehouse furniture, supplies, and employees’ belongings.

Maize grain damaged by Indian mealmoth Plodia interpunctella

How long do moth infestations last?

A large infestation of moths can take pest control professionals as long as six months to get moths and their hatching larvae under control. 

Adult moths only live for about 10 days and don’t feed during that time. The females, however, can lay as many as 300 eggs among the products they infest. The moths lay their eggs directly in or near the food sources they like to eat. 

After the eggs hatch a few dyas after being laid, the larvae start feeding immediately on the food products in which they find themselves. The feeding larvae tunnel into the food, where they can stay hidden for several months. Eventually, the larvae climb up to pupate and begin a new generation of moths, repeating the cycle.

What’s the best way to keep moths away from your warehouse? 

The best way to keep moths away from your warehouse is to contract with a professional pest control service, like Hawx Pest Control

In addition to hiring a pest management service, you can try some basic pest management techniques. For example, warehouse personnel can place sticky traps around the building to attract and catch some flying moths before they enter your facility. Also, keeping your warehouse clean and vacuumed regularly may help deter pests of all kinds.

What types of moths are common in warehouses?

The most common moth to infest warehouses are the tropical warehouse moth, Indian meal moth, almond moth, and clothes moth.  

The tropical warehouse moth is the cacao, almond, or tobacco moth. Its genus name is Ephestia elutella of the family Pyralidae. Adults are nocturnal flyers attracted to lights and have a life cycle of 25 days. The larvae spin silk while feeding, creating clumps of webs in the infested warehouse products. 

Can moths make you sick? 

Warehouse moths don’t spread disease, parasites, or pathogens to humans; they aren’t poisonous. Most species of moths don’t pose a threat to human health at all. If a person accidentally ate a large quantity of moth-infested food, the only adverse effect, which is quite rare, could be some intestinal discomfort. 

A warehouse moth larva, also called an almond moth, feeds on stored grains in a warehouse crate.

What kind of damage can warehouse moths cause?

Warehouse moths can cause considerable damage to stored products by feeding on and contaminating them. The webbing and excrement that results from warehouse moth larvae ruin grains and other food, making them unsuitable for consumption. 

The cast-off skins, pupal cases, and remains of the adult moths are also present in stores that have been attacked by warehouse moths, causing further revenue losses, as you must discard these products.

Moth pest control services 

Using proven methods, state-of-the-art technology, and highly educated technicians, Hawx Pest Control has the solutions for managing your pests. Our dedicated teams focus on providing high-quality results as we address your current problems and help prevent future infestations. Call us today for a free estimate to manage your pest control issues and create a customized treatment plan to fit your needs.

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