Pests news from BPCA

28 May 2019

Wax moths: communal pupal chambers and inquilines

Pest control | PPC95 May 2019

BPCA Consultant member John Lloyd of Independent Pest Management and Insect Consultancy is back in PPC, giving us advice on how to spot and treat for these rare pests.

Wax moths - communal pupal chambers and inquilines

Signs of Aphomia sociella (wax moth) activity recently caused concern during recent refurbishment work when galleries of webbing were found below a wooden window sill.

With their distinctive shape and the segmentation of Wax moth pupal chambers, pupation galleries are a characteristic sign of Aphomia sociella activity.

The communal galleries are formed when mature larvae migrate to a suitably safe and dry location to develop in a communal pupation site. Pupation galleries can be found in soft substrate; either in or under soft wooden structures (such as window sills), or inside the structure of old beehives.

A number of wax moth species occur, but Aphomia sociella usually prefers to develop in bumblebee nests, as well as developing in honey bee hives or even Vespula wasp nests.

Pupation galleries 

Aphomia sociella are inquilines (that is they will lodge inside their hosts nest and live commensally). Eggs are usually laid in the burrows of bumblebee nests and the larvae then feed upon wax, pollen, nectar, honey, dead bumblebees or even live bee larvae.

When fully developed, mature larvae leave the nest to pupate in a sheltered area nearby.

Communal cocoon sites can have hundreds of pupae present and the pupae/webbing is usually firmly attached to the substrate so they are difficult to shake loose.

Larvae may cause localised damage by gnawing the substrate to create the communal pupation site. Consequently, localised damage to woodwork may sometimes occur.

Adult Aphomia Sociella moth pupation galleries

When they emerge, the adult moths are generally brown in appearance but they are very variable in form. The species is sexually dimorphic.

Adult moths are not pests inside houses but do present a risk to apiarists and owners of commercial beehives.

HAD AN UNUSUAL JOB?

Tell us about it so we can share it in PPC magazine!
hello@bpca.org.uk

Source: PPC95

Highlights View all news

25 March 2020

Latest news

VIDEO: Advice for pest professionals during Covid-19 pandemic

This video will help pest management businesses understand how the pandemic will affect their work, and offer suggestions for mitigating risks involved in doing pest control work. This webinar

Read more

23 March 2020

Latest news

Can I go to work? Guidance for pest management professionals

Last night (23 March 2020), the Government announced further measures to stop the spread of Covid 19.  The announcement means that UK Citizens can only leave home for one of the foll

Read more

06 February 2020

Latest news

BIG BIRD WRAP-UP: General and individual licences for bird control in the UK

Since April 2019, we’ve had many updates on general licences for bird control in the UK. This quick view page will give you all the headline information and latest updates on general and indi

Read more
Latest View all news

06 April 2020

Latest news

Pest professionals: continue to go to work if it's safe, says Gove to BPCA

Today (6 April 2020), the UK Government confirmed that pest management professionals can continue to go to work when it's safe to do so. BPCA wrote to Government ministers, asking for pes

Read more

03 April 2020

Latest news

Make Covid-19 Small Business Grant Fund work for pest companies, says BPCA to Chancellor

Today (3 April 2020), BPCA has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, asking him to make the Small Business Grant Fund work for our sector.  The Small Busin

Read more

03 April 2020

Latest news

CEPA Covid-19 Open letter: Pest management is essential

CEPA has published an open letter, citing pest management as an essential industry for protecting key workers and calling for it to be recognised as such.  CEPA Open Letter: With the

Read more