Easter is on it’s way, with the spicy scent of hot cross buns, chocolate Easter eggs and more chocolate eggs! But as you unwrap the foil from that oh so tempting Easter egg, do you know you’re not the only one who is partial to the taste of good quality chocolate? You could find an Easter Pest Suprise under the wrapper! As opposed to a Pancake Day surprise, d’you see what I’ve done there…
Cocoa Moths (Ephestia cautella) have larvae that enjoy nibbling on chocolate, as well as the cocoa beans used to produce it. These determined creatures can eat their way through almost any kind of packaging to satisfy their chocoholic tendencies.
Once the larvae have become adult moths, they remain close to the chocolate supply to lay their eggs. With female moths being able to lay around 270 eggs in their lifetime, this can become a potential pest problem for the chocolate industry. Also, by staying close to the chocolate the moths are vulnerable to ending up as an unwelcome added ingredient for us to munch on!
Moths are not the only creatures that have a sweet tooth when it comes to chocolate. Birds such as Feral pigeons, magpies and crows and even grey squirrels will happily munch on chocolate, as the high sugar content provides them with a good source of energy.
It would seem we all appreciate a little chocolate nibble from time to time.