Pantry Moth Control
How To Get Rid Of Moths In The Kitchen
Are you noticing small moths flying around inside your kitchen? If the answer is yes, you probably have a pantry moth infestation on your hands. Also known as Indian meal moths, pantry moths are most prevalent during July and August in Cleveland, OH. In order to eradicate them, a thorough inspection is necessary to identify exactly where they’re coming from. This can be a daunting task — most people know the obvious places to look, but it’s rarely that easy. Don’t believe us? See our list below of all the possible places a pantry moth might hide. For many people, it becomes necessary to call in an exterminator who specializes in controlling pantry moths.
First, your home will undergo a thorough inspection. We’ll go through all the usual places to identify the source(s) of infestation. Additionally, we’ve discovered a few “hidden” problem areas over the years that we’ll check for issues. By doing so, we minimize the potential for re-infestation. Keep in mind that Indian meal moths play a very specific role in nature. They break down certain vegetative matter. Removing their food source is a very effective way to control their population.
In most cases, however, the infestation begins far away from the kitchen. Most people think that by throwing out their old pancake mix or rotten fruit, they’ll take care of their moth issue. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. Usually, we’re able to trace Indian meal moths back to a bird’s nest in the chimney, or a wall void in which a rodent stored their acorns. Keep reading to find out more unusual places we find these pests in Cleveland homes.
Signs of Indian Meal Moths Inside The Home
Adults Compared to many other moths in Ohio, pantry moths are relatively small — only 3/8″ long when fully developed. Like most other moth species, pantry moths’ wing tips are coppery-tan in color. However, the portion of the wing closest to the body of a pantry moth is white. This feature makes it easy to tell Indian meal moths apart from clothing moths. You may find pantry moths zig-zagging in flight around your home at night. Since they’re nocturnal, lights may attract them into different areas of the home.
Larvae The small, white larvae actually cause more damage than pantry moths in any other stage of development. The larvae contaminate your food. As they develop, they weave tunnels in their food (ahem, your food). These tunnels are made with silk and frass. Depending on the age, and the level of infestation, you may be able to spot these silk webs. While feeding, the larvae either stay inside the tunnel or close by. Over time, their bodies may become tinged with yellow, green, or pink pigmentation. When mature, at 1/2″- 5/8″ long, they are white caterpillars with black heads. Before pupating, these fully mature caterpillars leave a trail of silk along their path. If there is no place to pupate within the layers of food, larvae will climb up walls to find a spot. Interestingly enough, they can travel way outside of the infested area to weave their cocoons.
Pupae Just like their butterfly relatives, pantry moths undergo complete metamorphosis. This means the larvae weave a tiny yet noticeable cocoon inside cabinet and wall crevices. Sometimes you can find the silk webs on the top of pantry walls.
Tips And Tricks For Pantry Moths
Where To Look For A Pantry Moth Infestation
First, inspect your cornmeal and other stored grains. The following items have been known to host pantry moth infestations: cornmeal, flour, oatmeal, cereal, pancake/muffin mixes, nuts, rice, dog bones, dried pet food, crackers, pasta, dried fruit, protein powder and other drink mixes, bird seed, fish food, spices, seasoning packets, tea, soup mix, potpourri, dried floral arrangements, decorative corn stalks, deer antlers, bird and rodent nests, rodenticide bait, and feathers. As you can see, these pests eat a wide variety of vegetable matter, and going through every one of these items in your kitchen is no easy task. Fun fact: the only non-plant material these cannibals eat are themselves!