How To Get Rid Of Pantry Moths In Your Chester Springs Home

August 31, 2022

Have you spotted grey moths flying erratically around your kitchen? Seen thick, weird-looking webs on your stored cereal? You may have a pantry moth infestation in your home. The pantry moth is a member of the widespread Indian Meal Moth family. These invasive pests feed on stored food packages, often located in pantries. Chester Springs pest control experts can help eliminate the nuisance bug from your property.

indian meal moth crawling in kitchen

What Are Pantry Moths?

Pantry moths are tiny, winged insects that feed on dry stored food products in kitchens and pantries. Scientifically identified as Plodia interpunctella, the adult bugs have light-colored wings with distinct markings. The front part of their wings is gray-brown and has copper or bronze-colored edges, while the middle is a yellowy-gold color, and the back tip is reddish-brown. 

The pantry moth larvae are creamy-white and may have brown or black heads. They are usually found crawling around in food products and can reach 1/2 to 5/8 inches long when fully grown. If you suspect signs of pantry moths in your home, contact professional pest exterminators. 

The Problem Indian Meal Moths Cause In Our Pantries

Pantry moths prefer to feed on grains, rice, flour, cereals, dried fruits, species, nuts, birdseed, and other dried foods. Adults are typically harmless. The bug carries out the most damage during the larval stage. 

Pantry moth larvae or maggots burrow through food storage boxes, devouring, and contaminating the content inside. The adult moths will lay eggs on food items, with the whitish caterpillars hatching within less than 14 days. The larvae chew through most types of packaging, making the Indian meal moths a huge problem for many households as they are difficult to contain. 

The pantry moth poop is one of the most common food contaminants in American households. The adults leave behind sand-like droppings that may end up on your plate. The sticky webbing can make the food products unpalatable. Additionally, the larvae may expose the food to the environment, introducing bacteria and other microbes that contaminate it.

The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Pantry Moths

Indian meal moth infestations are notoriously difficult to control. The relatively quicker lifecycle and abundance of food sources support the growth of huge nests within your pantry. Here are steps you can use to eliminate the moths from your property:

1. Identify The Source
Take a look at the foods in your pantry. You’re searching for eggs, larvae, and droppings. You can find eggs on the sides of food packaging or containers and shelves. They resemble tiny white dots that you can easily miss if you’re not looking for them.

Larvae are more noticeable, resembling small worms. They’re usually in a food source but might also be on other surfaces with food residue or crumbs. Droppings will also be visible in open pantry items, especially grains and flour, where moths like to lay eggs.

2. Toss Everything The Bugs
If you wish to nip the infestation in the bud, the first thing you should do is toss everything they've touched. Pantry moths can lay between 200 and 400 eggs, so it's important to throw out as many food sources as possible to ensure that you're not just spreading around their population. Start by looking for any food with webbing and any bags of flour or grains with holes in them.

3. Clean The Pantry Thoroughly
Use a damp cloth or vacuum to clean your pantry shelves. Pay special attention to corners and hard-to-reach places where larvae might hide. Wash dishes, food bowls, and cooking utensils that the moths may have come into contact with. Use a pantry moth spray to kill the adult bugs and their larvae. You can also use pantry moth traps to capture and eliminate the invasive bugs. 

How To Prevent Future Indian Meal Moth Infestations

It’s usually easier to prevent a pantry moth infestation than cure one once it's underway. Here are tips to help prevent a future invasion. 

  • Store pantry items in sealable glass or plastic containers.
  • Inspect dried food packaging before purchase.
  • Regularly vacuum the pantry to eliminate any stray eggs or larvae.
  • Pay attention to expiration dates and immediately dispose of expired items.
  • Put bay leaves in your pantry to repel the moths.

It can be difficult to eliminate pantry moth infestations as most homeowners unknowingly truck in the pests themselves with their latest store purchases. Masters Touch Pest Solutions can assist in identifying the source of the infestation and recommend the best pantry moth traps and treatment products. Contact us today to discuss your pantry pest problem and the possible pest control solutions. 

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