Dos and Don’ts: Indianmeal Moths



July 11, 2014

Do the applied biology and eliminate the moths through integrated pest management (IPM).

Don’t let Indianmeal moth (IMM), Plodia interpunctella, contaminate stored food product.

Do observe lighting on or near the structure. Sodium vapor (yellow-colored) lighting has 95% less insect-attracting blue light wave compared to mercury vapor (blue-colored) lighting.

Don’t allow negative building pressure — a building must have positive pressure. When an exterior door is opened, one should feel air rushing out. Positive pressure prevents insects, dirt, bacteria and mold from entering. As a rule, a slightly positive pressure will exist when supply air is about 10% greater than exhaust air.

Do ensure processing lines are covered to eliminate high-end potential contamination.

Don’t allow conducive conditions to persist:

❯ Trim branches touching the structure.

❯ Clean up fallen fruit or wildlife feces on the perimeter campus.

❯ Repair parking-lot holes.

❯ Maintain a tidy landscape (cut tall grass).

❯ Repair structural eruptions or cracks.

❯ Fill or repair utility gaps.

❯ Institute a no-open-door policy.

❯ Ensure refuse is handled properly (trash to a person is treasure to a pest).

■  Do get the whole picture. Know the IPM puzzle:

❯ Education;

❯ Inspection;

❯ Exclusion;

❯ Administration support;

❯ Pest trapping;

❯ Sanitation;

❯ Mechanical control;

❯ Physical control;

❯ Service technician;

❯ Professional product applications;

❯ Quality control; and

❯ Logbook.

Dr. Mitchell, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., B.C.E., a board-certified physician and entomologist, is principal technical specialist for PestWest Environmental, as well as PMP’s Technical Editor. He can be reached at or 515-333-8923. You can reach industry consultant Dr. Granovsky at


About the Author

Avatar photo

MITCHELL, D.O., DVM, PsyD, BCE, is technical director of PestWest, and a frequent contributor to PMP.

Leave A Comment

Comments are closed.