Indianmeal moths are one of the most common pests that are found inside pantries or kitchens. They are normally found in grains and cereals, which are very common in American households. Due to the female adults laying anywhere from 400 to 500 eggs during their short lifespan, if uncontrolled a small infestation can turn into a large one very quickly.
They can enter any home or business easily by hiding their eggs in packaged food or other groceries.
What do they look like?
Indianmeal moths on their adult form is about 3/4" when they have their wings folded together. They have a 3-stage lifecycle after hatching from their eggs, which include: Larvae, Pupa and Adult stages. It will take under perfect conditions from five to seven weeks for Indianmeal moths to fully develop.
Indianmeal moth larvae when fully grown it can reach 1/2" and have brown-looking heads with whiteish bodies. At times larvae will crawl to a dark corner or another hidden area to create its cocoon in which to evolve. They as well leave silk threads in the infested foods, at times becoming webbing.
Most of their adult stage activity occurs during night, flying using a zigzag pattern. Eggs will normally be found in foods that are not can-items like cereals, grains, flours, fruit, seeds, candy, chocolates, dog and cat food, etc.
How are they controlled?
The best way to achieve this is to find remove any infected food from the area and use pheromone traps to controls the adult population. Other pesticide applications like the use of hormone growth regulators are not very effective as methods of control, with resistance quickly achieved and inherited as a recessive trait.
Here are some things you can do to assist you control a small infestation:
- Inspect all consumables that are located at or near the infested area
- Pet food and bird seeds are commonly overseen as infestation sites
- Store all consumables in plastic sealed containers and freeze for one week
- Clean the pantry, kitchen and any infested areas thoroughly. Pay special attention to cracks and crevices, like under your baseboards.
- Install adult Indianmeal moth traps with pheromones (or another attractant) to control them. A good location is near the main problem area and where consumables are stored.
What should I do?
If you are having an Indianmeal Moth problem in your kitchen or pantry, please do not hesitate to contact us. There are times when the problem is small and easy to control by yourself, however, if not quickly controlled it can get out of hand quickly. This will cost you more in any food or other consumable products that might have to be disposed of. Make sure that you have a pest control professional handy at all times to avoid problems like this to get out hand.
We are available at (619) 421 – 2101 or you can also reach us by sending us a message via our contact form.