Indian meal moths are a common pest throughout North America. Although they aren’t exactly harmful to humans, they do feed on anything containing grain such as cereals, dry snacks, seeds, and other things that you might keep in your pantry. These moths can stow away in containers of dry food and get into your pantry, or they can come in from the outdoors. Either way, these pests can practically destroy your home’s food supply, especially if you like to keep cereal and other starchy snack foods handy.
What do Indian Meal Moths Look Like?
The adult Indian meal moth is small, with a wingspan of 16 to 20mm and a body length of up to 7mm. They have a distinct two-color wing pattern with a yellowish base and a reddish-brown upper area. The larvae usually look like pale white caterpillars, although you might see bits of green in them depending on their diet.
Are Indian Meal Moths Dangerous?
The moths aren’t technically dangerous to humans since they don’t carry diseases or parasites, but they can pose a threat to your home by ruining your food supply. The biggest problem they pose is leaving waste in grain and other foods they consume, causing foods that otherwise have long shelf lives to spoil.
How Do You Know You Have an Indian Meal Moth Infestation?
Seeing a moth is a pretty clear sign that you have an infestation. Adults tend to fly in zig-zag patterns instead of direct flight paths, and they will fly relatively far away from their food source. Because of this, they are frequently mistaken for other types of moths. You can also tell you have an infestation by looking at any food in your pantry that contains grain. The larvae cover their food sources with silken webbing that might trap small pellets of fecal matter and shed skin. You might even see the tiny caterpillars as they move away from their food source to find a place to pupate. Check your walls for larvae and cocoons, especially where the floors and walls meet.
How Do You Get Rid of Them?
The best way to get rid of these pests is to remove their food source. Check any cereal, bags of flour, and anything else that contains grain or starch, especially if it’s been in your pantry for a while. The drier it is, the more attractive it is as a source of food. Use a vacuum to clean up any spilled food and insects you might see and seal up any holes that could provide an entry point for the moths. When you buy any new food, store it in airtight containers to protect it from any pests.
Call ASAP Pest Control for Professional Pest Removal
If you suspect you have a moth infestation in your pantry and you want to get rid of them for good, contact ASAP Pest Control. We serve homeowners in London, Ontario and the surrounding areas, and we will be happy to answer any pest control-related questions you might have.