Moth pest control tests

We have developed new test systems for quickly and reliably ascertaining the effectiveness of insecticides and repellents against moths (Common clothes moths, Indian meal moths).

The following test systems are available for the clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) and the meal moths (e.g., Plodia interpunctella):

  • insecticide anti-moth products (e. g. papers, sachets or balls)
  • attractants
  • repellents

Insecticide effectiveness tests (anti-moth papers, dispensers or sachets)
A specially developed bioassay allows the testing of the insecticidal effect of various anti-moth products. Tests with adult moths are performed in boxes with a defined volume and a resealable, transparent lid. So as to provide the optimal habitat for the moths, a piece of white sheep’s’ wool is placed in each box. During the 72 hour test period regular visual inspections of the moth behaviour are conducted. At the end of the experiment the number of living, moribund and dead individuals is compared to a control, and the sex ratio of all moths is determined.

Effect of an anti-moth product
Fig. 1: Effect of an anti-moth product containing an insecticide on adult clothes moths as compared to a control.

Effect of an anti-moth product
Fig. 2: Number of living (green bars), moribund (red bars) and dead (yellow bars) individuals in percent in the test and control runs investigating the insecticidal effect of an anti-moth product.

The attractiveness of pheromones, attractants, or traps equipped with these substances is examined in a gauze cage in a completely dark room. After setting up the traps (one test and one control trap), the moths are released in the middle of the test arena. After 24 hours the moths in the test trap, the control trap, and the untrapped moths are counted and their sex is determined.

Pheromone trap with adult clothes moths
Fig. 3: Pheromone trap with adult clothes moths
(Tineola bisselliella).

Fig. 4: Adult clothes moth (T. bisselliella).

To test the effect of anti-moth repellent products we use a new test system we developed by us, which is based on a standard laboratory assay (the Y-tube olfactometer). This system consists of three round containers interconnected by tubes. A constant air stream flows from the two outer containers in the middle box, from which the air then is allowed to escape. In the two outer containers breeding material (pieces of white sheep’s wool) are offered for the moths, and the repellent is placed in one of these boxes. During the test adult moths are placed in the middle box and we observe whether the moths prefer to enter the box containing the moth repellent or the control. At defined time intervals and at the end of the test the number of moths in the three containers is recorded and the sex ratio is determined.