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  • Writer's pictureSean Glover

Indian Meal Moths

Know Thy Enemy: the Indian Meal Moth

The Indian Meal Moth (IMM), Mediterranean Flour Moth (MFM), Almond Moth (AlM), Raisin Moth (RM), and the Tobacco Moth (TM) are significant "stored product moths". In the field, we call them the IMM+4 complex - mainly because they are all attracted to the same synthetic sex pheromone we use in monitoring and mating disruption products. In tree nuts we mainly see IMM, but will observe AlM and MFM occasionally as well.

Picture of the indian meal moth - a tree nut storage pest.

Indian Meal Moths are about ½” long and easily distinguishable from the others. The bottom half of their wings are brass colored. It looks like they were held by the head and dipped into metallic brass colored paint. Sometimes when captured in monitoring glue boards, the scales which produce the color can be rubbed off. When observed closely, you can still see the uneven line and a darker color where the brass scales used to be.

Moth infestations are found most often in stored nuts. Older, lower quality nuts and byproducts (rejects, oil stock, etc.), are most likely to become infested first. However, mating disruption technology called CIDETRAK (Trece) has revolutionized prevention of these moth species. In my experience, with good preventive inbound controls and properly installed CIDETRAK, a facility free of IMM +4 infestation cannot become infested.

CIDETRAK can also work to control existing populations in some circumstances. In tree nut facilities, control is difficult due to the bin liners we use; however, it will stop the moths from spreading to the rest of the facility. Regardless, CIDETRAK is an essential part of any good quality pest prevention program. Since we don’t live in a perfect world, it is imperative to monitor for these moths also.

Protecting our clients’ nuts from these and other pests is what we are privileged to do every day. The front line of this war against nature can be brutal. If you are having trouble, we are here for you too!

Give us a call.

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