By the time a stored food pest problem is reported, you may already be dealing with multiple generations of an infestation. It has always seemed to me that the tolerance level in a residential setting is higher than in a food production facility. A moth here and there isn’t a real problem for a homeowner, and is quite often mistaken for something else– that is until the larva start moving around in their cereal or oatmeal.
Pinpointing the source and zeroing in your treatments are the first part to resolving the problem quickly. Your customer’s cooperation, or lack thereof, will determine your success rate.
Simply tossing out the infested product may not always yield results since some stored food pest larva will migrate away from the original infestation.
Giving a customer your “Preparation for Treatment” sheets prior to treatment or having downloadable forms is a good tool, but remember to keep it simple. Clear and concise checklists seem to work best.
Another effective tool is a passive monitoring system–simply put, a covered glue board (covered to protect from dust or accidental contact). These devices offer your customer peace of mind and give them the ability to monitor the success of your treatment. A covered glue board with or without pheromones will also catch other pests that may have not been seen or reported to you, like roaches or silverfish, which can lead to additional revenues if you include these pests in your warranty.
A trick that some PMPs have used in-between treating an infestation of moths was simply stapling paper glue boards near cracks and crevices in the rear portion of a cabinet. This would catch emerging larva and is successful in catching flying insects in search of a resting place without getting in the way of your customer’s hands.
J.T. Eaton Co., Inc.