Pantry Moth : Life Cycle and Moth Traps
Q: Why aren’t all the pantry moths in the traps?
They must be going through their new cycle, as I now have the months again and I am setting out the moth traps, but not all of the moths seem interested
From : Peggy in New Jersey
A: Pantry Moth life cycle affects moth attraction to traps
As you indicated you are in the beginning of a pantry moth generation.. and the male pantry moths are not at full maturity. In a couple weeks they will be more interested. As an adult pantry moth the goal is to reproduce and create the next generation of pantry moths. But only when the male moth reaches maturity and is looking to reproduce.
Pantry moth traps have a pheromone lure, that moth pheromone is the scent released by a female moth when she is ready to reproduce. As the adult male moth matures, it will be eventually be ready to mate, and it finds a female by following the moth mating pheromone. This is where pantry moth traps come into play.
The moth trap pheromone lure convinces an adult male moth that a female is in the trap. The adult male moth flies into the trap, and is caught, preventing that male from mating with a female moth, and reducing the number of moths in the next generation.
If the moth traps prevent 50% of the males from mating, then in 6 weeks your next generation of moths will be 50% fewer. But when that next generation of pantry moths comes into adult hood, you need to have the moth traps ready to catch them as well, with idea of reducing the 3rd generation by half, meaning you now have 25% of the original number of moths.
Depending on how severe your moth infestation is, it can take a few generations to eliminate all of them. This is important because we want you to know that not every moth will fly into the traps (only full adult males that are ready for mating), and it will take a couple cycles to get things fully under control.
Response: Thanks for your reassurance!
Thank you for your refresher on the “birds and bees”…or birds and moths in this case. You made perfect sense. I see the need for the moths to mature before they will have interest in the lure. I guess I was just in a bit of a panic and didn’t want my problem to grow any bigger by an ineffective method. Thanks again for your help and reassurance. I like the idea of using products that are “cleaner” for home and the environment.
A: I waited, and the moths came flying!
Two weeks later Peggy wrote to let us know the traps were filling up!
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