West Chester, PA Homeowner's Helpful Pantry Moth Control Guide

November 30, 2021

It’s probably not a good sign when bugs fly out of your cereal box. You do your best to stop ants, flies, and other pests from infiltrating your kitchen cupboards, but pantry moths can be particularly difficult to prevent. The good news is, controlling the pantry moths in your West Chester home may be easier than you think.

up close image of an indian meal moth crawling in a pantry

About Pantry Moths

Indian meal moths, also just known as “pantry moths,” are small moths measuring about 3/8 of an inch on average. They have a reddish-brown or copper color with a band of gray on their wings. Indian meal moths are one of the most common pests to infest stored foods like seeds, pet food, and grains. These pests take their name from infesting “Indian meal,” or what we know as corn today.

These pests are known for laying their eggs in stored foods, a trademark behavior of pantry pests. When the eggs hatch, they are surrounded by food and gorge themselves as they progress through their lifecycle and eventually reach adulthood.

While Indian meal moths don’t spread parasites or disease directly, they most certainly contaminate the contents of the packages they infest. Feces, eggshells, wings, and other body parts can all end up in your pantry foods. Not to mention, Indian meal moths may also encourage mold growth and change the flavor of the foods they infest.

How Did I Get Pantry Moths?

If you’re seeing Indian meal moths around your home, they likely arrived through one of two methods. First and most commonly, Indian meal moths come into the home as eggs or larvae mixed in amidst stored foods. While modern food processing is generally quite good at keeping pests out of our snacks, pests like pantry moths may occasionally find their way into packaging in warehouses or shipping facilities.

Second, Indian meal moths may enter your home from outside. These pests are highly attracted to light and may be drawn to your property at night. A simple crack around the window or a rip in your screen door could let them inside. Once indoors, Indian meal moths won’t take long to track down exposed pantry foods where they can lay their eggs.

How To Prevent Pantry Moths

Indian meal moth infestations can persist for months or even years without proper intervention. As long as they have a reliable source of stored food to lay their eggs in, they will continue to appear in your home. But while getting rid of Indian meal moths can be challenging, preventing them couldn’t be easier. Some prevention tricks you can try are:

  • Checking packaging – Before you put that box of cereal in your shopping cart, check the box for any visible damage. Small holes or tears in the corners of the packaging are usually a sign of infestation.
  • Preventing entry – Check the exterior of your home for any possible entry points that pests can use. Repair cracks around doors and windows with silicone caulk. Check screens for damage and repair or replace as needed.
  • Lowering light – Keep outdoor lights off as much as possible or consider switching to yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lamps, which are less attractive to insects. Keep curtains and shades drawn at night to prevent light from spilling outside.
  • Protecting the pantry – Keep your pantry foods stored in sturdy containers with locking lids. Heavy plastic is good, but glass or metal containers work best against pests. 

If you’re dealing with Indian meal moths in your West Chester home, contact the pros at Masters Touch Pest Solutions today! We’ll get rid of your pest problems at the source and stop future infestations from happening with our effective home pest control services.

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