Moths need to eat, too. Unfortunately, they’re rude houseguests, digging into your pantry with nary a “by your leave.” Before these unwanted guests eat you out of house and home, it’s time to think twice about your holiday game plan.
Indian Meal Moth
The Indian Meal Moth devours dry food, infesting flour, cereal, birdseed, pet food, pasta, rice, spices, and other dried pantry items. Unlike your kids, these pests aren’t picky; the Indian Meal Moth is widely considered to be the most common pantry pest to infest your home. How can you spot an Indian Meal Moth infestation?
- Look for adult moths with gray wings that fade into bronze.
- Watch moths’ flying patterns. Adult Indian Meal Moths tend to fly in zigzags instead of straight lines.
- Look for food damage. The larvae cover food in silken webs and contaminate food with discarded skins and feces (in fact, the biggest problem with Indian Meal Moths isn’t eaten food, but contaminated food).
Mediterranean Flour Moth
A pale gray moth with black patterns on the wings, the Mediterranean Flour Moth is almost as common as the Indian Meal Moth. You’ll find this pest digging into your pantry goods. They’re particularly fond of flour, cereal, grains, beans, pet food, chocolate, and dried fruit, and they don’t just eat your food, but also lay their eggs in dried goods. If you see clumps in your flour, it may be a sign of Mediterranean Flour Moth larvae, which hatch in flour and bind the particles together in silk webbing.
How to Protect the Pantry from Pests
- Inspect the pantry for signs of infestations
- Throw away contaminated food and store dried foods in airtight containers
- Vacuum shelves, door edges, and corners to remove webs, bugs, and crumbs
- Check the walls and ceilings around the pantry for larvae trying to wriggle away
How Holiday Decorations Cause Pest Problems
Have you put out your harvest arrangements yet? Dried holiday wreaths often have hitchhikers, and moth larvae love to burrow into dried corn kernels. Many Northeast Atlanta homeowners accidentally bring bugs indoors when decorating for Thanksgiving. To prevent unwanted guests for holiday meals, spray arrangements with a coat of clear lacquer. Not only will this prevent flour and meal moths from bursting free, it’ll give your mantle decor a nice shine.
The bug stops here. Schedule your next Progressive Pest Control appointment today.