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How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths

Pantry moths are actually Indian meal moths that reproduce in grains, beans and rice. Pantry moths enter the home through grains and cereals purchased through farmers markets and natural produce outlets. Chemical treatments are not recommended, as most infestations take place in or around edible items.

Indian Meal Moths

Indian meal moths (Plodia interpunctella) are also known as flour moths. They are relatively small insects and can be seen flying around the kitchen or resting in corners. They vary in colors of brown and gray. Females are capable of laying hundreds of eggs, making it a very difficult pest to control. Eggs hatch in only a few days. The larvae and eggs blend seamlessly with other food items, which can make trying to find the infested food source a challenging ordeal. Cocoons can be found in various stored food items, as well as the top corners of the pantry and kitchen, wrapped in a silky shell.

How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths

To get rid of pantry moths, removal of the infested food source is necessary. Pantry moths cannot get into cans. Unopened items sealed in plastic (such as a bag of cereal) may be kept, but placed in the freezer for at least 8 hours. Everything else has to be thrown away or frozen. No questions asked. All boxes, sealed or opened, should be disposed of. Anything in the following list should be tossed:

  • Boxes
  • Tea Bags
  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Fruits
  • Raisins
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Herbs
  • Beans

The entire pantry should be swept or vacuumed. Pantry shelving should be inspected to make sure there aren’t any cocoons hidden between rails. Cocoons in the upper corners can be scraped off using a fork or other pointed object. Dispose of the vacuum bag or garbage bags outside and away from the kitchen.

Pheromone Traps

Pantry moths are constantly seeking mates and pheromone traps can be used to exploit this behavior. The PT 4 Allure traps are exceptional at catching Indian meal moths, but should only be used to supplement the removal of infested food items.

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