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How To Keep Pantry Moths Out Of Your San Mateo Cupboards

March 24, 2022 - Pantry Pests

Pantry moths are probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your San Mateo pest control needs. These moths don’t spread disease or destroy your house, so they’re not as much of an emergency as – say – rats or termites. However, they can still wreck your food stores and ruin staples like flour and dry starches. This can be a particular problem for restaurants or bakeries because pests like Indianmeal moths (a common type of pantry moth) have the potential to wreck thousands of dollars worth of inventory. So keeping pests like Indianmeal moth larvae out of your pantry is something you need to consider. 


How To Identify An Indianmeal Moth

Adult Indianmeal moths are pretty unremarkable. They’re small – around 3/8 of an inch long with a 5/8-inch wingspan – and they have wings that are grey at the top and rusty brown at the bottom. Adult Indianmeal moths are not the issue when protecting your grain stores. They don’t eat grain or other pantry staples, so the only thing you have to worry about adult Indianmeal moths doing is laying eggs that will hatch into the pantry pest you have to watch out for: Indianmeal moth larvae. 

These larvae are around half an inch long, and they can be anywhere from off-white to pinkish-brown or even light green. These larvae eat grains, cereals, dried fruits, and processed staples like flour or cornmeal. Even if you can’t distinguish an Indianmeal moth larva by the way it looks, it’s a good bet the larvae are from Indianmeal moths (or other pantry moth species) if you find them in your food stores. 

How Pantry Moths Find Their Way Into Our Food

When adults lay eggs inside, pantry moth larvae find their way into food. Adults will flutter into an area where suitable food exists and lay eggs directly in the food source. That means you can get pantry moths one of two ways. More rarely, Indianmeal moths will fly right into your home through an open door or window and lay eggs directly in your food stores. 

However, the more common way to get Indianmeal moths is by bringing in already infested foods. If you buy food that’s already had eggs laid in it, the larvae could spread throughout the rest of your pantry when it hatches. Larvae might also mature and lay a whole new generation of eggs before you notice a problem. 

Four Simple Tips To Prevent Pantry Moths

Pantry moths ruin food stores – which can sometimes cost you thousands if you’re running a professional food business – so you’ll want to keep them away from your pantry. The good news is there are a few pantry pest control measures that can do just that:

  1. Keep window and door screens on all sliding doors and windows. Make sure these screens fit well and are free of rips and holes. 
  2. Avoid outdoor lighting and close blinds at night to avoid attracting moths. If you must use outdoor lighting, use colors that don’t attract insects (like yellow, orange, and red). 
  3. Store all pantry staples in airtight, rigid containers so female moths can’t access them and larvae cannot chew through them. 
  4. When bringing them home from the grocery store, always check pantry foods for larvae and don’t buy foods with damaged packaging. 

Following these measures can go a long way towards ensuring you never get an infestation. 

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Indianmeal Moths In Your Home

If you wind up with an Indianmeal moth problem, avoid potentially toxic pantry pest control products like mothballs. Instead, throw out infested and potentially exposed food stores and call the experts at Pacific Pest Management right away. We can help you safely get rid of your existing infestation and save undamaged food products!

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