November 30, 2021

How Pantry Moths Get Into Conroe, TX Cupboards

Pantry moth infestations can be stubborn. Without proper control methods, these pests can continue to raid your cupboards for months or even years. But where do pantry moths come from in the first place? And how do pantry moths get into Conroe cupboards?

up close image of an indian meal moth crawling in a cupboard

What To Know About Pantry Moths

Pantry moths, also known as Indian meal moths, are some of the most common pantry pests in the United States. Most specimens measure about 3/8 of an inch long and have a light brown coloration with a band of gray across the wings. Indian meal moths take their name from the foodstuffs they often infest — namely, corn products, or what used to be called “Indian meal.” But of course, pantry moths don’t just go after corn but will also infest packages of various grains, seeds, processed foods, and pet food.

Like most pantry pests, Indian meal moths lay their eggs in packaged foods, and the eggs then hatch and feed on the surrounding material. The eggs will spend their developmental stages devouring (and spoiling) whatever food they are laid in and only emerge once they reach adulthood.

Indian meal moths don’t bite or sting, nor are they known to directly cause disease or spread parasites. In fact, they are relatively harmless as far as pests go. But these moths can and will contaminate the food in your cupboards by defecating and leaving eggshells, wings, and limbs in packaged goods. An infestation of pantry moths can also encourage mold to grow in packaged food and will ruin the flavor of whatever they inhabit. 

Why Do I Have Pantry Moths?

There are two main ways that pantry moths infest your cupboards. First, and most commonly, they are introduced to your home or business as eggs already laid in packaged foods. Bugs like sawtooth grain beetles and pantry moths often find their way into vulnerable packages in shipping facilities, processing plants, and warehouses. Once they find their way into a package, eggs are laid, and the infested boxes are sent to store shelves.

The other way that pantry moths infest food is by entering from outside. Light is highly attractive to Indian meal moths, and even the smallest cracks or openings around the exterior of your property can be exploited by these tiny pests. After they’ve made their way inside, pantry moths will track down any open packages of cereal, crackers, or stored foods to lay their eggs.

How To Prevent Pantry Moths

Once a pantry moth infestation develops, it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of without intervention from a professional pest control service. When it comes to Indian meal moths, prevention is the best policy. Some simple ways you can keep pantry moths out of your cupboard are:

  • Adjusting lights – Try to keep outdoor lights off as much as possible. Consider switching to sodium vapor lamps or yellow light bulbs. Draw curtains and blinds at night to stop indoor light from attracting insects.
  • Switching containers – Keep perishable pantry foods like cereal, cookies, and flour stored in sturdy containers with locking lids. Heavy plastic is good, but metal or glass containers offer the best protection from the most pests.
  • Checking packaging – Look for any holes or tears in food packaging before you buy, usually around the corners of the box. Small piles of debris around packaging are often a sign of infestation.

If you want to get rid of pantry moths in your Conroe cupboards once and for all, trust the pest control experts at Bill Clark Pest Control to help. Contact us today to learn more about our home pest control services and how we can assist you!


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