What is a Moth Trap?

Elizabeth West
Elizabeth West

Moth traps are used to get rid of moths. There are different types of moth traps, including pheromone, suppression, and all-purpose traps, which work on most of the species commonly found in foodstuffs. Pantry moths infest dry goods in a store or warehouse and then spread into other foods inside a cupboard or pantry. They are the most common type of indoor moth infestation, and are also called Indian meal moths, grain moths and flour moths.

A pheromone moth trap makes use of natural attractants instead of toxic chemicals that should not be used around food. These traps make use of the natural scents that female moths use to lure in the males. When the moth investigates, it is trapped on a sticky pad and cannot free itself. The entire moth trap can be thrown away when full or when its effectiveness has waned, usually within a few months. This type of trap is the least expensive, but takes longer to work.

A suppression moth trap also uses chemical attractants and lures in both the male and the female moth. Since both are caught, the entire reproductive cycle is thus interrupted. This trap works a bit faster than the plain pheromone trap. Different species may not react to all pheromones, but the traps usually target the most common ones.

Another kind of moth trap is the all-purpose trap. It also catches boll weevils and beetles which commonly infest food. The all-purpose trap contains both male and female attractants and a food substance to entice the moths to stay. The ingredients are inside a plastic disc with holes so the moths or weevils can crawl inside.

With no dangerous pesticides, these traps can be safely used around food preparation areas. The glue board type of moth trap sometimes has a sticky back so it can be mounted to the inside of a cabinet door or cupboard. A homemade moth trap can be fashioned from boric acid and cornmeal mixed into a paste. The boric acid trap should be kept away from food, children, and pets.

Preventing moths from entering the home is the best control of all. Regular vacuuming can pick up any eggs or larvae that may have found their way into carpets. Cardboard boxes, paper boxes, or bags, even with a plastic liner, will not keep the moths out of food. Airtight plastic containers, canisters, or jars work, as will putting items like flour in the freezer. In addition to a moth trap, any infested materials need to be thrown out and their storage areas cleaned thoroughly to keep the moths from returning.

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