Indian Meal Moths: Additional Information

February 23, 2015

Indian meal moths are one of the many species of insect that hitches a ride into our places of residences and makes itself right at home. The most common place in the home that you will find an Indian meal moth is in your pantry. They are considered to be one of the most, if the most, irritating "pantry pest" of all.

Indian meal moth on counter

So how do these meal moths make their way into the home in the first place? Opening a box of cereal or some other foodstuff in your pantry, only to have moths fly out, can be a real nuisance. Having it happen in front of company can be supremely embarrassing, as it makes your home look filthy and unkempt. 

There are two primary ways that these moths can make their presence known in your home. Food items that have already been pre-packed are most susceptible to Indian meal moth outbreaks. The manufacturers of these products do their best to try and avoid such outcomes, but there are instances when it is truly unavoidable.

The supermarkets and stores that you regularly purchase your food from can also become infested, making it almost impossible to bring home any food from their storefronts. Species of Indian meal moth that have yet to reach their full maturity will make their way all over the store and begin to search for packages of food that they are able to feed on.

The reason Indian meal moths gravitate to your pantry is because this is where the bulk of their favorite foods are located. While they do tend to consume a wider range of foods than what they are given credit for, their preferences include cornmeal, dry cereal, flour, powdered milk, and bird seed.

A homeowner can detect the signs of an Indian meal moth infestation in a variety of ways. When a person opens up a stored food product, only to find that webs have been spun on the inside of the packaging, this is typically a strong sign that your home has been compromised by the presence of Indian meal moths.

If you are able to take a closer inspection of the web filled packaging, you may also notice certain finer, grittier materials inside. These are insect droppings and a clear indicator that they are currently present in the domicile. 

When neither of these events has taken place, but you are still wondering if you have Indian meal moths in your home, the regular presence of moths in the kitchen can serve as a cause for alarm. Even if their fluttering is weak, they still constitute a threat to the home's overall safety.

One of the reasons why people may ignore the moths in their kitchen and believe them to be harmless is because they under the false impression that they are the sort of moths you find in clothes from time to time. 

But, it is important to note that Indian meal moths and clothes moths tend to have vastly different appearances. In order to tell which is which, inspect the wings. A clothes moth's wings are all one color, while the wings of an Indian meal moth are bi colored. Imagine an old car with a paint job that is two toned and you are on the right track.

The best way to control an Indian meal moth outbreak or keep it from happening in the first place is to keep any infested materials out of your home. If you should find any, locate them and get rid of them immediately. You will need to give your kitchen/pantry area a very thorough scrubbing.

Do not decide to take matters into your own hands and spray any sort of pesticide in your kitchen. While it may kill off the Indian meal moth infestation, it could have the unintended side effect of completely poisoning all of the other non-moth infested foodstuffs in your home.

The safest way to ensure that your kitchen and pantry are safe is to remove all of the food items and inspect every square inch, one by one. Items that are purchased in bulk capacities are especially susceptible and should be searched the most, as well as anything that is in a container that hasn't been fully sealed.

Should you find an infested item, do not delay, throw it out right away! Every second wasted is another second closer to a house full of Indian meal moths. If there is any level of doubt whatsoever, then toss the item in the trash. Once you've done this, remove all of your containers that are not structurally sound and transfer the items within into a more tightly sealed place of storage. 

Be sure to clean out your cupboards before placing any foods back inside. Any tiny crevices should be vacuumed out, as an Indian meal moth can live on an astonishingly small amount of food. Check behind each of your household appliances and sweep out crumbs from underneath tables and chairs. 

By taking the proper precautions in your home and remaining ahead of the curve, you can keep Indian meal moth outbreaks from happening and causing you undue embarrassment. Fortunately, Indian meal moths are easy enough to keep away and should they make the presence felt in your home, a thorough housecleaning can force them to stay away forever. If not, then professionals must be called in, before all of your food becomes poisoned. 

Alliance Pest Services is your local exterminator for all your Indian Meal Moth pest problems.

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