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Pantry Moths and Pantry Pest

The most common pantry or grain moth found in homes and kitchens are the Indian Meal-flour Moth, Mediterranean Meal Moth and the Angoumois Grain Moth. One of the most common panty moths is the Indian Meal Moth. The Mediterranean Flour Moth and Indian Meal Moth are larger than cloth moths, but the Angoumoise Grain Moth is close to the same size as a cloth moth.

 

How Do You Get Pantry Moths?

These pantry moths such as the Indian Meal Moth are commonly carried in from grocery products.When you store these items, they can contaminate other foods.

Pantry moth infestations in kitchens may be missed at the beginning because these pantry moths are very small, especially the egg and larval stages.

One of the first thing to indicate their presence are small flying moths near any food package, particulary grains, cereals, pet food, seeds or nuts.

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How To Get Rid of Pantry Pest Moths

Inspection and Cleaning

  • The first order of business is cleaning out the source of these moths. Remember that these moths feed on pantry items like dry pasta, cereal, grains, pet food, crackers, etc. They can be found even in seasonings. Look for webbing in the foodstuffs. Many times the larvae will migrate to other areas, so inspect all possible sources.
  • After isolating source infestation of pantry pests, store products in tight fitting containers. As a prevention measure it is advisable to store food grains like cereals, flours, nuts, oatmeal, etc in air tight containers.
  • Clean cracks and crevices in shelves. Even small samples of food are enough for pantry moths to survive.
  • Make sure that old foodstuffs is free of any pantry moths before combining them with new products from the grocery store. Never mix the older foodstuffs with newer foodstuffs.

Traps & Trap Placements

Place out Pantry Pest Traps such as Propest Pantry Pest Trap and Revenge Pantry Pest Traps. The pantry pest traps consist of cardboard, glue and pheromones. These traps have a pheromone placed on the glue or the pheromone is impregnated in the glue part of the trap. The pheromones will attract the male moths to the traps, cutting down on reproduction.

  • Remove any release paper on the glue to expose the glue. These traps can be formed into a triangle or box form. You can secure it on a wall surface with double wide tape, or the Propest trap comes with hangers.
  • Never place more than a couple of traps in the kitchen at a time. Too many pheromones will confuse the male moths.

Aerosol Usage

Phantom Aerosol, Microcare Aerosol or Alpine PT Aerosol may be used as a crack and crevice treatment in the corners, and cracks and crevices of the pantry and cupboards to kill the adult moths and prevent further infestations.

 

Pantry Moths Description Behavior and Infestation Signs Damage Done
Indian Meal Moth
Indian Meal Moth

The Indian Meal Moth is a combination of gray and brown-tan colors. The front half of the wings are grayish with black lines across them, and the bottom part of the wings are a coppery-rust brown.

 

The adults are about 3/4" when at rest. The larvae can have pale tones of off white, green or pink hues.

 

The larvae forms look like grubs or caterpillars.

These pantry-kitchen moths fly at night. When disturbed, they will fly in a random pattern. During the day, they remain in dark hiding places.

 

This pest can enter packages thru tiny holes or already may be present in foods bought from the grocery stores.

 

Signs of infestation include silky webbing and excretion from larvae.

Indian Meal Damage To Grain

They feed on stored food products such as bread, grains, seeds, powdered milk, flour, nuts, dry pet food, and cereals.

 

Once these moths have entered the home in a food product; they can multiply. After they multiply, they can spread and contaminate uninfected products.

Mediterranean Flour Moth (Mill Moth)

mediterrean flour moth

Mediterranean Flour Moths are pale gray with wavy black zigzag lines across them. The hind wings are an off-white color.

 

The Mediterranean Flour Moth is slightly larger than the Indian Meal Moth with a life cycle of ten weeks. One female Mediterranean Moth can lay between 110-675 eggs in food sources. The eggs will hatch into larvae that spin into silk tubes, feeding in these tubes. They will often leave their food source to pupate.

 

They can pupate in cracks and crevices.

At rest, this moth is very easy to identify. It has a sloping appearance; it raises its head and extends its forelegs.

 

It prefers flour products but will eat grains and cereals. It will also eat pollen in beehives.

 

It can choke machinery from the silken tubes that form balls.

 

The silken threads that the larvae spin will mat the food together.

These moths feed on stored foods producing damage to foodstuffs.

 

These moths may be found in homes, grocery stores, mills and warehouses.

Angoumois Grain Moths

Angoumois Grain Moths

The Angoumois Grain adult moth is small with a wing spread of about 2/3 inch. The adult is a yellowish white color with pale front wings.

The hind wings are pointed and fringed.

This moth feeds on whole kernel grains. Eggs are laid on or near grain either in the field or after harvest. After hatching, the small , white larvae bore into the kernels of grain and feed on the inside. When they mature, the larva eats its way to the outer portion of the grain.

 

The Angoumois Grain Moth can be a common household pest infesting popcorn and any corn products used for decorative purposes.

 

Bird seed may get attacked if they have whole kernels.

The emergent holes made by this moth on the corn kernels have a circular outline.