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Stored Product Pests Can Ruin the Holidays!


indian meal moth

The smell of Christmas, freshly cut Christmas trees and baked holiday goodies are in the air. As the holiday season approaches, we find ourselves baking tasty treats, decorating the house, hanging lights and wrapping presents. While we’re busy partaking in all this holiday cheer, something is lurking in our kitchens, something that can surely put a damper on the holidays: insects.

Indian meal moths, cigarette beetles, red flour beetles, saw-toothed grain beetles, merchant grain beetle and other pantry pests may be feasting on your cereals, rice, grains, flour and meal, along with any stored seasonal decorations made from plant or animal products. These pesky creatures, as a group, are known as stored product pests.

Stored product pests often gather where foodstuffs are stored in cupboards and pantries, and are attracted to flour, dry cereals, spices, chocolate and other candies. In most cases, these stored product pests can be traced to boxes and/or bags of dry goods in the backs of pantries that may have been opened and partially used, then forgotten. In some cases, the source may even come from outdated food that had been purchased long ago and stored for a long period of time. 

Tips for making sure these stored product pests do NOT spoil your holiday festivities.

  • Keep all food stored safely in plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids

  • Clean your countertops, cupboards and floors regularly, as crumbs may attract these pests

  • Refrigerate and/or freeze any baking goods that may be stored for long periods of time

  • Inspect all stored products before use

  • Read the expiration date, and when in doubt, throw it out

  • Look closely at any old decorations you’ve packed away since last season, to make sure that stored product pests haven’t set up housekeeping

In the event you do have an infestation, contact your local state-licensed pest management firm, as stored product pest infestations can be a handful.

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Santa Rosa Pest Control - Moth quarantine to expand

Most of Santa Rosa soon will come under an expanded quarantine area for the light brown apple moth, above, after recent discoveries of the invasive pest.
Published: Friday, January 22, 2010 at 7:41 p.m. 
Last Modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 at 7:41 p.m.

Most of Santa Rosa soon will come under an expanded quarantine area for the light brown apple moth after recent discoveries of the invasive pest.

The quarantine will have little effect on city residents, except that by law they are prohibited from taking home-grown fruit, vegetables and other plant materials outside the area.

But the changed boundaries suggests the moth, a native of Australia, continues to expand into the North Bay. In winter the pest normally goes dormant, but 10 moths were trapped in the county in December and another 14 to date this month, said Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville.

The expanded quarantine area is expected to be confirmed by the state within the next two weeks, county officials said. Its boundaries will reach from the outskirts of Forestville in the north to the Marin County line in the south and from west of Petaluma to Napa County. In the Sonoma Valley, the quarantine will extend north almost to Glen Ellen.

Another quarantine area exists around Healdsburg.

State and federal agricultural officials first confirmed the existence of the moth in California three years ago.

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Sonoma Pest Control - Sterile insects released to combat LBAM


Sterile moths

In an effort to combat the light brown apple moth, the United States moths - Pest ControlDepartment of Agriculture launched its sterile insect technology program on Wednesday afternoon, releasing 3,000 sterilized moths Chandon Winery's vineyard on Ramal Road.

The idea is that the sterilized moths will so overwhelm the wild moth population that it will disrupt the mating behavior, decreasing the population of wild moths. "The fertile insects have no idea they're mating with a sterile insect," said Dr. Greg Simmons, an entomologist overseeing the program for USDA.

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