Can You Get Sick From Eating Pantry Moth Larvae?

Can You Get Sick From Eating Pantry Moth Larvae

So, if you consume the larvae, eggs, or webbing of pantry moths, would you become sick? 

Not according to experts. In other words, don’t freak out if you accidentally swallow pantry moth larvae. Indian meal moths are not known to transfer any recognized illnesses, parasites, or infections.

Pantry moths, commonly known as Indian Meal Moths, are the most frequent moths to infest food in households. On the tips of their wings are reddish-brown, while the undersides of their wings are a light gray tint. Larvae are approximately a ½-inch long and might be yellow, pink, green, or brown. Depending on environmental circumstances, eggs may take anywhere from 30 to 275 days to hatch.

Aside from the insects themselves, food afflicted by pantry moths may also have silk webbing present on the surface.

Discovering an infestation should urge you to explore how these insects got into your food in the first place. First, the food may have been exposed to these pests at some point during the processing or packing process. This may also make you question what else got into the container. 

In addition, a pantry moth infestation indicates that your food is old because the moths had enough time to complete their life cycle while within the packaging. Weird concepts like this are troubling.

How do I get rid of pantry moths in my kitchen?

The terrible thing about a pantry moth infestation is that you generally only notice it after it has already happened. To prevent this problem, you should secure your food before utilizing it.

Preventing a pantry moth infestation is as simple as using the following strategies:


Examine food packaging for tears and holes. If there is any damage, notify the store management or return it. Also, check the “Best By” date as older items allow eggs to hatch faster.

Return damaged goods:

As soon as you reach home, inspect the inside packing for holes or damage.

Trap pantry moths:

The Safer Brand Pantry Pest TrapsOpens in a new tab. attract male pantry moths and disrupt the breeding cycle. Please place them in a quiet corner of your kitchen or pantryOpens in a new tab. and check for catches.

Store in containers:

After opening a packet of flour or crackers, please place it in a plastic container or Ziploc bag.

Toss it in the bin:

If you find contaminated food, put it in a recycled shopping bag and throw it in an outside garbage can. Throwing it in an open trash can allows mothsOpens in a new tab. to locate a new feeding source.

Freezing the food:

While it is recommended to discard tainted food, you may treat it. Freezing the food for a week kills adult pantry moths, progeny, and eggs. You can microwaveOpens in a new tab. it on high for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you may bake the meal for 30 minutes at 130°F or higher in a small pan.

What happens if you eat pantry moth eggs?

Nothing will happen if you consume pantry moth larvae hidden in food or flour. It only influences one’s mental condition since pantry moths, and their larvae are regarded as nasty by the general population. Cereal moth larvae, also known as Indian meal moth larvae, are the most commonly consumed caterpillars.

Are pantry moth larvae poisonous?

However, while pantry moths are not hazardous to humans or pets, they may cause significant damage to the goods in your pantry. There will be no biting or stinging from these moths, only widespread contamination of food sources. 

However, while this does not pose a significant health concern, it is undoubtedly inconvenient. Therefore, all tainted food must be thrown away when an infestation begins.

How long do pantry moth larvae live?

The frass and webbing will infect the food, rendering it unfit for human consumption. The larval stage typically lasts between two and three months, depending on the environmental circumstances and food availability.


Pantry moths larvae can not make you sick from eating them, but it is best to find ways to prevent their infestation. This article has highlighted ways to prevent and get rid of pantry moths.


Charles is a kitchen enthusiast with a passion for well-organized pantries and the latest kitchen gadgets. His blog, Pantry Raider, explores the secrets of pantry raiding and culinary adventures. He's a wizard at maximizing space with creative corner pantry ideas and storage hacks. Charles also delves into the art of pantry painting, shares tips for Amazon Prime Pantry, offers kitchen storage solutions, and guides readers through practical cooking tips, outdoor adventures, kitchen gadgets, and the wonders of the microwave. Whether you're a pantry perfectionist, gadget guru, or outdoor enthusiast, Charles provides the knowledge to elevate your kitchen and pantry experience.

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