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Pantry Pests » Indian Meal Moth

Indian Meal Moth
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Appearance

Reddish copper color on its otherwise white wings; small, up to 5/8-inch.

Habitat

As a larva, the Indian meal moth spins a web around foods, rendering it unusable—grains, dried fruits, nuts, dog food, beans, etc. This moth usually enters homes in boxes or bags of infested foods. It appears in all points of the food processing chain and is the most common moth of stored, dried foods, as well as the pest moth most often seen in homes. Adult meal moths tend to avoid light and rest quietly on walls and ceilings, becoming active after dusk.

Diet

A wide variety of food items including flour, cereal, nuts, grains, chocolate, birdseed and dried pet foods.

Insect control: Indian meal moths

All dried food products need to be inspected, along with spices, potpourri and stored bird seed. Discard all infested packages and products. Clean spilled grain and infested cabinet areas using a vacuum followed by soapy water. Store all dried food goods in a glass or plastic container with a tight lid to limit spreading if one food becomes infested. Consider storing cereals and similar foods in the refrigerator to limit stored pantry pest problems.

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