Eliminate SPP problems


November 9, 2020

Headshot: Dr. Cisse Spragins

Dr. Cisse Spragins, CEO/founder of Rockwell Labs

Stored product pest (SPP) encompasses not only food-infesting “pantry” beetles and moths, but also textile-infesting species such as clothes moths and carpet beetles. They can be endemic in certain types of accounts, or be brought in with infested products.

Management steps include inspection of incoming materials; housekeeping to remove residues of flour, grains and other dust from cracks and crevices; and removal of infested materials. In susceptible commercial accounts, ongoing monitoring — most often with pheromones and glue traps — is a must.

SPP problems can be difficult to eliminate in residences, and could be caused by something as simple as some old rodent bait in a wall void, or spilled grain in an obscure location. Monitoring is key to pinpoint the source, but beware that many pheromone lures, such as the Indianmeal moth (IMM) sex pheromone, are strong enough to bring moths in from outside.

In commercial accounts, pheromone lures generally should be placed at least 50 feet from entrances. Management generally must be diligent and ongoing in susceptible commercial accounts with large amounts of grain, dog food, bird seed, etc.

Good control options include insect growth regulators (IGRs) and silica dust. Silica is long-lasting, and is excellent to puff or brush into cracks, crevices and voids for pantry moths and beetles. Use silica around the edges of closets and drawers for clothes moths, and around the edges of rugs for carpet beetles. Some appropriately labeled, protein-containing cockroach baits also can be effective on carpet beetles.

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