What Homeowners Need to Know About Pheromone Traps

Have you ever heard of the idea of using pheromone lures in insect traps? You may assume that these traps will help you control pest infestations. However, because of how they work, these traps are typically only useful for one or two specific aspects of pest control, such as alerting you to a problem.

Here’s what you need to know about pheromone traps and how you can use them in the fight against pests.

Pheromone Traps Use Lures and Sticky Paper

First, you need to know the basics of how a pheromone trap works. Typically, these traps will include the pheromones needed to lure the insect in. The pheromones may be embedded in a lure that comes sealed in plastic so the pheromones won’t dissipate before you purchase it. Once you assemble the trap, the lure emits pheromones into the air.

These traps typically use sticky paper so that when the insect lands or crawls near the lure, it’s trapped and can’t leave.

Pheromone Traps Attract Specific Pests

The insect kingdom has a mind-boggling amount of diversity. Even the small moths that could infest your pantry aren’t necessarily all of the same type. Grain Moths and Indian Meal Moths are two potential culprits if you find a moth problem in your pantry.

However, because they’re different species, these two types of moths may not be attracted to the same pheromones. In addition, if you buy a trap designed for clothing moths, neither the Indian Meal Moth nor the Gran Moth will be attracted. So you can only use pheromone traps against very specific types of pests. Check the label to see which types of pests it attracts.

Pheromone Traps May Only Attract One Sex or Stage of Insect

Typically, pheromone lures are created using the pheromone profile of the female insect. Because the male insects will be biologically drawn to these pheromones, the trap may be relatively effective against males; yet it may catch no females at all. Check the product to see if it’s designed to catch both males and females or only males.

In addition, the pheromones are only likely to be effective against insects at a certain stage in their life cycle. Typically, this means that fully-grown moths, for example, could be attracted, while larvae and eggs will be unaffected.

Pheromone Traps Can Monitor for Unknown Infestations

If pantry moths do infest your house, they’ll do it quietly, and the infestation may be quite unobtrusive at first. But if you have pheromone traps in place that target the insect in question, the traps can act as an early warning. This function can let you know about the problem sooner so you can deal with the insects before they’re deeply entrenched.

Pheromone Traps Can Cut Down on Population Growth

Pheromone traps can provide one additional service in controlling an infestation. The more male moths land on the trap, the fewer will be able to pass on their genes. If you have a lot of moths already, taking some of the males out of circulation like this may help reduce the speed of the population explosion.

Keep in mind, though, that you can’t expect the trap to necessarily catch the males before they breed, so the trap won’t finish off an infestation by itself. The trap only serves as one portion of a larger extermination effort.

As you can see, pheromone traps can be an ingenious tool to use against insect pests, yet they can have limited application against a full-blown infestation. When an infestation occurs, your pheromone traps may alert you to the fact and may even slow population explosions in some cases, but you’ll still need to call an exterminator.

If you do find yourself with a pest problem, whether it’s moths in the pantry, roaches in the garage, termites in the basement, or mice in the attic, get in touch with Craig & Sons Termite & Pest Control, Inc. today.