Indian Meal Moth or Pantry pest

The Indian Meal Moth can infest a very wide range of dry foods, and vegetables; such as cereal, bread, pasta, rice, dried fruits/nuts, and grains. The food they are infesting will almost look like it’s webbed together.

The adults are about 8 to 10mm in length with 16 to 20mm wingspans. Their fore wings are bronze to dark gray in color, while the upper half of the wings will be yellowish-gray, with a dark band where the two colors meet.

The body of the larvae is off-white with brown heads, and at full maturity can be approximately 12mm in length.

The entire life cycle for these guys is anywhere from 30 to 300 days, and a female moth can lay between 60 and 400 eggs on one food surface. The eggs will hatch in 2 to 14 days, and the larval stage lasts from 2 to 41 weeks depending on the temperature of their environment.

If you have found any larvae or moths infesting anything, it is important to throw out all food sources that have not been kept in tightly sealed containers. They can, surprisingly, get through very tight spots, including sealed bags by chewing through them.

The Indian Meal Moths are notorious for being a pain to get rid of, and crawl on ceilings and spin cocoons in other regions of the home, not just in the kitchen/pantry area where they hatched from. While being hard to get rid of, they can be eliminated by either intense heat, or extreme cold temperatures but only when this form of treatment seems practical.

There are non-toxic ways of doing this as well, such as pheromone traps, but these are not always effective.

As always, if you fear you have an infestation, just give Nature’s Way Pest Control a call, and we will be out as soon as we can for your free estimate! 518-745-5958


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