October 15, 2019

The Indian Meal Moth in The Beaumont Cupboard

an indian meal moth feasting on the grains inside of a beaumont texas kitchen pantry

The pantry can be a favorite spot in your home. After all, who doesn’t love opening a cabinet drawer to find a pack of cookies or granola bars? Many great comfort foods can come from your pantry. One thing you don’t want to find in your pantry, however, is an infestation of Indian meal moths. These moths can take over a pantry and contaminate your food. Here are some common questions you may have about pantry pests and how to stop them.  

What Are Indian Meal Moths?

Indian meal moths are named for their biggest food source: cornmeal. Cornmeal is often called Indian meal, and it’s a favorite food for Indian meal moths. Meal moths lay eggs directly in a food source. Once they’ve hatched, the larvae, or caterpillars, are called waxworms. Adult Indian meal moths have a bi-colored wing. It’s usually pale grey and rust or copper-colored.
They are often confused with almond moths, which look similar and feed on many of the same things as Indian meal moths. However, almond moths don’t have multi-colored wings. Theirs are spotted with more of a yellow tone. Either of these moths can cause problems and contaminate food, so if you aren’t sure what you’re dealing with, you may want to call for a professional second opinion.

How Do Indian Meal Moths Get Inside Your Home?

Indian meal moths most often get inside on contaminated food. Once they’ve come into your house, they can spread to other foods in your pantry and cabinets. Female meal moths lay eggs directly in a food source. This includes many kitchen staples such as cereal, bread, pasta, rice, couscous, flour, spices, dried fruit, nuts, and other grains and cereals. Once the eggs have hatched, the larvae feed for six to eight weeks. During this time, they can spread to other food sources. They are able to chew through paper, cardboard, and even some plastics, so even sealed food can be contaminated once you have Indian meal moths in your home.

What to Do If You Have Indian Meal Moths in Your Home?

If you find Indian meal moths or larvae in your pantry, you’ll need to throw away all contaminated food. Even sealed food could be contaminated, so it’s best to throw out all food unless you’re completely sure they are safe. You may attempt to use do-it-yourself removal methods such as pheromone glue traps. But these traps only work for male meal moths, so you’ll still have females and larvae present in your kitchen. Instead of taking the risk, call Bill Clark Pest Control for help. Our pest control experts can identify the pests and take measures to completely eliminate them. We don’t just eliminate male moths, we make sure to remove female meal moths and moths in every stage of development, including eggs. Keep pests out of the pantry so you can keep filling it with the food you love.


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