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Moths? In mealworms bins

Looks like some boxes have a kind of sticky Web, even some clumps some places. We try to be very clean removing old veggies removing dead larvae and so but I don't get how it got there, perhaps from the bran? Haven't seen any flying around though so perhaps it's something else? Any experience with that? I removed all of it I hope by scratching the surface first to drag the webs because it's hard to see and thrown the clumps. I hope it helps...

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  • edited January 2017

    Hi rechardfv, - Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, nicknamed "Dollar spot fungus", grow mycellium that resembles cobwebs. Usually this affects grasses & web stage is not visible past mornings. It causes spots of death on grass, but since bran is not living cells the only pictures on-line relevant for comparative identification would be specifically of the dollar spot fungus mycellal stage.

    It does not make spores, so it does not blow in through the window; but human traffic can spread it & dew favors it's emergence. If you inadvertently introduced it to your bran bin & there is a bin located in high humidity place that experiences cool nights after warm days this can cause condensation (dew). See if there is a trend for the unaffected bins to be sited in your operation differently than the affected bins, so that there is a difference in which bins might get condensation from a surface above it.

  • @richardfv - and as a precaution against moths in case what you have is silk from their larvae, you can freeze and or heat treat (oven or microwave) your bedding before dispensing into bins. That should kill any eggs and prevent emergence in your bins.

  • Ok. So after some digging I got ahold on the clumps and opened them to find a caterpillar kind of larvae. Sifted the bran and the baby larvae to part the clumps. Attached is a picture.!

  • So I don't think that it is a moth larvae as it is too big. But I don't know what it is :) it leaves some silky trails them forms a clump in the clump it then became kind of cocoon, then when I opened the cocoon this was inside. Maybe 1 cm long 1mm thick. Bit hairy and bites.

  • Wondering if it could be euonymus caterpillar, could have come fro Chinese cabbage..

  • You could always rear it to adulthood to find out!

  • Yep, exactly what we thought so we kept some in new bin with lid a top.

  • Look forward to hearing what emerges

  • I will, just hope it's not a pest infesting our babies.

  • Update, it's coddling moths, probably due to one apple introduced a while ago, now its going down, but we are sifting all boxes for clumps to get rid of them, don't think there is any danger but gosh its boring.

  • Thanks for sharing the update! Pest problems are significant time sinks, whether moths, flies, ants, etc.. and these outbreaks are always a great reminder for having strong preventative measures in place

  • Agreed, although this is still a pilot site, i am planning to add anti bacterial lamps.

  • Did you put a whole apple inside or how was the moth inside an apple?

  • @richardfv - do you mean UV lamps? There is some discussion elsewhere on the forum about potential for UV to cause cellular / DNA damage to your larvae - worth looking into if your livestock will be exposed

  • @Carni I guess it would have been at the larval stadium inside the apple yes. It was a one time and a mistake. @andrew yes i meant germicide lamps but not as a direct light over the boxes, just in a room corner, think its a bad idea?

    It seems like the amount of clumps is now decreasing but still have to go through all the 300 boxes...

  • Hi richardfv, - Save your money on germicidal lamp installation concept. Those work best on non-porous surfaces & different UV spectrum act on different kinds of fungi.

    As for UV light potentially damaging certain insects, & then too that at certain life stages, my impression is that it is only if the bug is closely basked in some of the UV wavelengths. After all, many bugs get UV irradiation out in the wild when foraging.

  • No i have not experienced this yet.

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