Customers often complain about moths in their kitchens to carpet moth treatment companies. This type of complaint is most commonly caused by the Indian Meal Moth, a pantry moth. This is a pest of stored products that is usually found in food that has been brought into the house, such as food from a grocery store or organic food market.
An Indian Meal Moth infestation can be identified by certain signs. Most people complain about adult moths infesting their kitchen. They are approximately 1/2 inch long with pale gray wings and a copper-rusty color shine. These adults are a sign of a problem. However, further inspection of cabinetry and the areas where the ceiling meets the wall will reveal a cotton tube-like mass. This is the pupal stage, and it’s why the problem persists. There are four life stages for the Indian Meal Moth: egg, larval, pupa, and adult. During inspections of infested areas or food, 3 stages will be evident.
This pest was brought into your home using some kind of food. Most common food items are pastas, grains, bird seed, dry dog foods, and dry pastas. Finding the source of the infestation is the key to stopping this problem. Unfortunately, this can be difficult and expensive. Most people throw away all the food they have. This is not a good idea and it’s rarely necessary. The most important thing is to find the affected items. Other items can be left alone. All canned goods can be used safely and do not require inspection.
To inspect food storage for Indian Meal Moths, you will need to inspect every dry food package for larvae (a yellowish worm or the cotton pupa mass). If the product has been infested, it will be apparent upon inspection. You can effectively end the life cycle by throwing out infested food materials.
Once the infestation has ended, it is necessary to kill or capture the adult and all pupa stages. They will then be able to reproduce. You can allow the insects to repopulate your house if you fail to do so. You can easily catch the adults by using sticky, sexy pheromone traps that are available at most home-improvement stores. It is best to remove the pupa stages and clean up any areas that they may be sticking to. The best way to control this pest is sanitation.
Sometimes, a problem can persist even after all of the above steps have been taken. It is best to contact a professional pest management company to help you identify any areas or items that might have been overlooked. Unknown harborage areas under cabinets or in wall voids could be the cause of your continued problems.