The seed moth, a real glutton !
Who is the seed moth ?
Latin name : Hofmannophila pseudospretella
Order : Lepidoptera
Family : Oecophoridae
Wingspan : 16 to 26 mm (Females are larger than males)
Location : any damp room
Period : all year round, with a peak from June to October
Known as the brown house moth. At rest, this butterfly has roofed wings that cover the body, with the hindwing hidden by the forewing. The forewings have a fairly light brown ground colour, with dark markings: 2 dots in the front third of the wing, and a rounded spot in the two thirds. The posterior margin of the forewing has a series of dark dots. The hindwings are wider than the forewings and light-coloured. The palpi are clearly visible and curved backwards. The antennae are long and filiform.
What you need to know about the seed moth
It can be found all year round, particularly in the home, but especially from June to October.
Native to Asia, the larvae of this moth can attack a variety of products such as wool, flour, biscuits, leather, horsehair, hair, feathers, hair, food scraps, plant or animal matter, but also dried plants, herbariums, etc. It is therefore a formidable predator of the home, but also of museums. They can be found in rooms with a high level of humidity, such as cellars or poorly ventilated premises. They generally infest food, cupboards or dustbins. The larvae can cause health damage to stored foodstuffs by contaminating them with their faeces and silk threads.
Unlike the food moth, damage to textiles can also be seen with the seed moth.
It is most often seen resting on walls in homes during the day. They fly in the evening and are attracted by light.
The seed moth is not toxic and does not generally pose a threat to human health. There is no cause for undue concern.
Life cycle of the seed moth
After mating, the female lays an average of 250 eggs in cracks or other hiding places close to food. The eggs hatch after 1 to 15 days into white larvae with red heads. The larvae spin silken nests, sometimes directly in the food, in which they spend their larval life and only emerge to feed. At the end of their growth, they will grow to around 1.5 cm and begin their transformation into butterflies, which will last around 15 days. Adults devote their lives to reproduction and live for no more than 15 days. They overwinter and generally produce only one generation a year, unless conditions allow them to develop all year round.
How can I get rid of the seed moth ?
Destroy contaminated foodstuffs. Disinfect small objects in the freezer. Ventilate and heat if possible to dry out the air.
Don't forget to proceed methodically :
1. Take a large bin bag and throw away anything that isn't in a completely airtight box, even products that seem perfectly clean.
2. Vacuum every nook and cranny of the cupboard or storeroom.
3. Fill a basin with hot water + washing-up liquid + disinfectant (organic, of course!). Using a brush, scrub the entire cupboard, leaving no nook or cranny untouched.
4. When everything is completely dry, treat the entire cupboard with our 4J insecticide diluted to 5% (allow 500ml for 5m² of surface treated). To treat large areas, use the same insecticide in concentrated form. In this case, you'll need to dilute the insecticide with 5% water in a spray bottle (50 ml of insecticide for 950 ml of water).
5. Put a few food moth repellent sachets in various places in the cupboard.
7. All that's left to do is put all your food back in the cupboards, but always in completely airtight boxes.
8. If you still have butterflies flying around, either in the room or in your cupboards, you can get rid of them for good with our aerosols, using Ecodoo Insecticide or Aries Flying Insecticide. Composed of pyrethrum, a synergy of essential oils and alcohol, these products have the advantage of staying in suspension for longer, so they give good results on flying insects and the treatment of enclosed spaces.
9. Finally, when it comes to fumigation, Habitat Biovétol fogger will give excellent results on this type of insect. An insecticide based on active ingredients of plant origin (pyrethrum + geraniol), designed for basic treatment of the home. Highly volatile, the solution settles in the smallest nooks and crannies where parasites and insects live. Immediate and prolonged action, for up to 4 months.
The products you need to control seed moths
Go directly to the detailed data sheets for products to combat seed moths.
This is what the seed moth looks like