A leading food industry cleaning company is using science to disrupt moth mating cycles and prevent them contaminating chocolate bars
Hygiene Group is using pheremone technology to confuse male tropical warehouse moths, whose larvae can chew through foil wrapping.
The biological solution – which uses insect pheremones in place of traditional pesticides – is part of a long-term trial in conjunction with Exosect Ltd, a research and development company which specialises in environmentally friendly insect pest control.
An electrostatically-charged food grade wax powder soaked in female moth pheremone is used to attract male moths, which become covered in female pheremone.
Other male moths then try to mate with the female pheremone-covered males, disrupting mating and egg-laying cycles.
Hygiene Group pest control division manager Dave Maxwell said: “It’s called ‘Auto-Confusion’, and where we’ve introduced it we’ve seen tropical warehouse moth numbers decline.
“It’s not a stand-alone solution, but is highly effective when used alongside regular cleaning processes, and without it there would have to be more cleaning done with pesticide sprays.”
Hygiene Group has been using the process for three years, passing its findings and data back to Exosect, and expects to continue the trial for another year. It is the only hygiene management services provider using the process in the chocolate production environment.
The tropical warehouse moth – ephestia cautella – is now indigenous to the UK, having been introduced via imported cocoa beans used in chocolate-making. Females lay up to 350 eggs in their short – 18-day – lives.
Exosect is actively focused on the development and sales of Intelligent Pest Management Solutions. Our innovative and cost-effective products help growers, food producers and processors actively reduce their use of insecticides. Our goal is to assist growers achieve zero residues in their crops and produce high quality food for the consumer. Our products are used globally in a wide range of sectors including crop protection, (agriculture, horticulture and stored products), apiculture, amenity and public health. More on Exosect: www.exosect.com
Further information on Exosect – including interviews, demonstrations, users stories and site visits – is available from:
Graham Thatcher / Spencer Butt
Exosect Press Office at MCC International Ltd
Tel: 01962 888 100 / Fax: 01962 888125