Efficacy of pheromone-based control system, Exosex™ SPTab, against moth pests in European food processing facilities


  • G. Pease Exosect Ltd, Leylands Business Park, Colden Common, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1TH, UK, Email: garry.pease@exosect.com
  • C. G. Storm Exosect Ltd, Leylands Business Park, Colden Common, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1TH, UK




The Exosex™ SPTab auto-confusion system is a novel pheromone-based method for control of stored product moth pests in both food and tobacco processing and storage facilities. The method uses a femaleproduced sex pheromone, (Z,E)-9,12-tetradecadienyl acetate, combined with a patented electrostatic powder delivery system known as Entostat™ to disrupt mating and interrupt the lifecycle of several important moth pests: Plodia interpunctella, Ephestia kuehniella, Ephestia cautella and Ephestia elutella. Male moths are attracted to a compressed tablet of the powder, which contains the sex pheromone. The powder releases pheromone at a slow enough rate to attract males to make contact with the tablet. The powder adheres to the moth cuticle via electrostatic attraction and the moth leaves the tablet coated in female sex pheromone. Flight tunnel studies have shown that this disrupts their ability to locate female moths and they become attractive sources for other males.
Here we will present findings from full scale, long term trials that were conducted under real conditions at commercial food processing facilities across Europe. Populations of target moth species were monitored alongside deployment of the SPTab system and compared with untreated control areas and historical data from the test areas in the years prior to deployment. In all cases populations were reduced compared to the same area in the previous year and compared to untreated control areas under local pest control practices.
The SPTab auto-confusion system could offer the opportunity to actively reduce the use of pesticides and its use as an integrated pest management tool within the food and tobacco processing and storage industry is discussed.

Keywords: Mating disruption, Plodia interpunctella, Ephestia kuehniella, SPTab, Sex pheromone.