Does Your Kitchen Have Visitors?

Monitoring

The structure is thoroughly inspected for all possible sources.
This includes wildlife nesting material, infested grain, and odd items like spices and potpourri.
Monitoring traps are used in chimneys, attics, and the exterior property. to find hidden populations of Indian meal moths.

Sanitation

Our technician will work with the customer to inspect food for contamination. Infested food will be disposed of. Questionable foods can be stored in freezer. Potential problem foods can be placed in zip-lock bags. Please have room in freezer. Also have bags on hand.

Chemical Control

Once the sources are located they can be treated. wall voids are treated with silica dust. This acts like a desiccant and will dry out any larvae.
Insect growth regulators are some of the greenest products you can apply for pests. They are extremely effective against Indian meal moths.

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    Cost To Treat For Pantry Moths

    $175.00 plus tax.

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    Guarantee on Service

    You may need to call us back. We will promptly return free of charge for 60 days. If we fail to gain control, we will refund your money.

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    What Makes Our Service Superior

    Most exterminators will treat only the kitchen. We do a full inspection of the property. Often the moths originate from wildlife activity within the home.
    Our exterminators handle wildlife and provide sanitation services. We provide complete Indian meal moth control.

Indian Meal Moths As Pantry Pests

July and August in Cleveland, Ohio is prime season for Indian Meal Moth. The larvae are pests of stored grain. They are also common pantry pests. You may be noticing Plodia interpunctella zig zigging throughout the kitchen. Adults are about 3/8″ long. Their wing span is nearly 3/4″ wide. The wing tips are coppery tan in color. The portion of the wings closest to the body are white. This feature makes it easy to tell them apart from clothing moths.

Indian meal moth control-Lakewood Exterminating

Common Moth Sightings

Indian meal moth adults fly at night. They can be drawn into the living room by the television or lamps. You might witness larvae crawling up your walls. These are full grown larvae finding a place to pupate into adults. Mature larvae (1/2″- 5/8″) are white caterpillars with black heads.

Indian meal moth larvae-Lakewood Exterminating

Indian Meal Moth Lifecycle

Adult females lay between 60 and 300 microscopic eggs. Eggs are deposited on, or around food. The eggs are laid singularly or in groups (12-30). Tiny white caterpillars hatch from the eggs. Eggs take anywhere from two days to two weeks to hatch. Newly born larvae are difficult to see with the naked eye. Their small size allows them to easily enter food storage containers. It is near impossible to seal out a pest that small.

Indian meal moth larvae weave tunnels in their food. Tunnels are made with silk and frass. They stay inside or nearby the tunnel and continue to feed. As they grow, their bodies may become tinged with yellow, green, or pink pigmentation. Silk webs can be visible depending on the age, and the level of infestation.

Indian meal moths in oatmeal.

Infested Oatmeal


Food particles also become molded together. Once the larvae begin to mature, strands of silk are laid out wherever they travel. The larval stage usually lasts between two weeks and one month. The white caterpillars with black heads migrate away from their food source to pupate. Indian meal moth larvae frequently climb up walls to the ceiling junction. Here they form a silken cocoon. Within this protected silk fabric, they change into adults. They can remain in pupal form for four to thirty days.

A full Indian meal moth lifecycle takes around forty to fifty-five days. Under optimal conditions the lifecycle can be completed in 29 days. Several generations occur each year in Ohio. The adults emerge from their pupae, mate and lay eggs. Adult moths live between 5 and 25 days. They require temperatures above 50 degrees F.

Indian Meal Moth Pest Control

Finding The Source

Controlling pantry moths requires a great deal of investigative work. If you do not locate the source, you will struggle to gain control. You might luck out though. Have you made pancakes lately? Check your oatmeal and pancake mix. A lot of people buy this sort of item and forget that it is perishable. Indian meal moths love old forgotten canisters of oatmeal. Disposing of expired grains may be enough to solve your moth problem. Products may also be stored in the freezer for 10 days. This will kill all stages of Indian meal moth.

Indian meal moths enter the home in 2 ways. They can enter from the home’s exterior. When Indian meal moths enter from the home’s exterior, they often begin by infesting rodent caches and bird nesting material. More commonly, Indian meal moths are brought in with contaminated food. Once they are inside of a home, the population can spread from the infested product. New larval populations can become established in expired foods. New moths will find places to lay their eggs that you would never imagine.

Most people learn to keep an eye on expiring food after their first pantry moth episode. Yet many people experience reoccurring pantry moth issues. Why is this? How many times can you blame it on the dog food? Re-occuring Indian meal moth infestations often point to a source outside of the pantry.

Indian meal moths naturally play a role in the decomposition of plant material. When dealing with an Indian meal moth infestation, a thorough pest inspection must be performed. All potential sources must be identified.

Potential Food Sources:

  • Cornmeal and Flour
  • Nuts and grains
  • Dogbones
  • Crackers and pasta
  • Dried fruit, raisins and prunes
  • Bird seed and fish food
  • Spices and seasoning packets
  • Tea
  • Potpourri
  • Birdseed
  • Dried floral arrangements, corn stalks
  • Deer antlers
  • Bird and rodent nesting material
  • Rodent cache (stored acorns)
  • Rodenticide bait
  • Feathers
Wildlife Sources

Ever hear of a pack rat? Perform a google image search for the term “red squirrel midden pile”. Rodents store food reserves. It is common that a rodent will find its way into a home at one point or another. They take shelter in attics, soffets, chimneys, crawlspaces, and wall voids. Indian Meal Moth activity can be an indicator of rodent activity.

The most overlooked Indian meal moth entry point is the chimney. Chimney dampers are almost never completely sealed. Placing pheremone traps inside the fireplace. Close it off from the living space. You will quickly find out if the chimney is a source. Birds nest inside structures similarly to rodents. If a bird has nested inside of your chimney, the nesting material may be acting as a source.

Treating For Indian Meal Moths

The first step in treatment is to identify the pest. Indian Meal Moths are similar to clothing moths. The larvae can be mistaken for mealworms and maggots.

Homeowners have two plausible treatment options:

  • Find the source and remove it.
  • Hire an Indian meal moth exterminating service.

Pantry Moth Control Products

Homeowners do not have access to very effective pantry moth control products. The most effective control for pantry moths is to remove the source. Be cautious when applying pesticides in the kitchen. Exposed food should be eliminated from the treatment area. Pesticide spray can drift onto food preparation surfaces, dishes,utensils, or appliances. We do not recommend store bought pesticides for use against moths in the kitchen.

Pantry Moth Traps

Pantry moth traps are utilized by homeowners more for control than they are used for detection. If a pantry moth infestation occurs from purchasing infested grain, you can throw out old food. Traps are then used to collect any remaining moths. New moths will emerge from hidden pupae for around 2 weeks.

Traps are not always effective. If there is a population outside of your kitchen; the pheremone traps will draw them from in these locations. Loads of moths will be lured into the living space. They enter through gaps in windows, through open doors and down your chimney.

Hiring An Exterminator

Hiring an exterminator for moths in the kitchen is often necessary. You are hiring an exterminator for their expert detective skills. They have safer, more effective products. Exterminators are also trained to apply pesticides correctly in kitchens.

Indian meal moth jobs are complex home pest problems. They involve a combination of sanitation, monitoring, and chemical treatment. The sanitation process is a combined effort between the exterminator and the customer. Monitoring with pheremone traps often requires multiple appointments.

Properly applied insect growth regulators carry very low health risk to building occupants. The active ingredients in IGR are specifically targeted to the lifecycles of insects. They provide a knockdown effect by distorting the moth’s wings. They also control eggs, larvae and emerging pupae. IGR provides low risk complete control to Indian meal moths when applied appropriately.