Sharing the Pantry with Indian Meal Moths
Indian meal moths are nuisance pests that can feed off of a wide range and variety of dried foods. They can make their way into stored foods commonly found in pantries. While some homeowners may think one or two moths aren’t a big deal, they should be wary that these moths have not produced larvae in the stored food items. Indian meal moths can be found in a plethora of places including cities in Pennsylvania such as Irwin, PA.
What do they look like?
An adult Indian meal moth has wings inflected with grays and browns. The pattern tends to have the colors go from gray to brown and often has a distinguishable pattern. Sometimes the almond moth is confused with the Indian meal moth. The wingspan of this moth is about 5/8 inches while the body of the moth is 3/8 inches. It’s a fairly small moth and they often fly in a zigzag motion. The larvae are cream colored. Some of the larvae can be pink or a yellow-green color, its head is a dark brown.
What do they eat?
Indian meal moths will and can eat a variety of dry foods. They feed on certain items such as: cereal, dry pet food, bird seed, bread, pasta, rice, flour, spices, nuts, and powdered mixes. Sometimes they will even make their way into dried flowers and chocolate. However, most of the time these moths will make their way into the pantry, most attracted to dry foods. Once the moth has made its way into the food, larvae can be spawned, making the food inedible and ruined. The larvae will cast skins and droppings into the food source and contaminate it. While these insects may only need a small amount from their food source, the damage to the stored food is irreparable.
What to do if there is an infestation
The most common sign of infestation are sightings of the moths and larvae. Many adults can be found in rooms filled with dim lighting. They are not very active during the day. Another sign of these moths are finding casings and larvae in food sources.
If the homeowner happens to find they have an Indian meal moth infestation, they will need to rid themselves of any contaminated food and then they will need to place future pantry items in airtight containers. It is also important for them to contact an exterminator from a local pest company such as Spectrum Pest Control. They will provide all the necessary services to remove moths and larvae from the home.