Pantry Moth Infestation Extermination: How to get rid of pantry moths?


Pantry moths are storage pests that commonly infest items in your kitchen, such as flour and cereal. These moths are typically seen near, and around the food they inhabit. Pantry moths can be identified by their small size, and their wingspan ranges from 1/2 to three inches. Depending on the species of pantry moth, some can have brightly colored wings with shades ranging from yellow to brown. In addition, male pantry moths will have feathery antennae extending from their heads, while female pantry moths do not. 

Most pantry moths are attracted to light, often causing them to fly toward light sources. Female Pantry Moths seek mates during the day, while males tend to be nocturnal.

Pantry moths prefer to live in warm locations with food. They have been known to inhabit many places, including pantries, bakeries, breweries, condensation pans, and warehouses. Pantry moths will feed on any type of food they come across. However, they are most commonly found in flour, cereal, and other dry foods. Your pantry can become infected if you do not properly clean your dishes after using your food storage items or if you allow small particles (like dust or pollen) into your storage area regularly. The Pantry Moths can lay up to three hundred eggs at one time and live as long as six months without food.

The larvae of different types of pantry moths are difficult to recognize, so you should be aware of the damage left behind by these pests. Larvae leave behind small webs and silk strands that coat their food sources, making them unusable. Signs of pantry moths are small holes in the packaging, webbing on your food storage containers, and a strange musty odor coming from the infested areas. 

These pests will also contaminate your food, leaving it inedible with their droppings and webbing. Left unattended, these pests can wreak havoc around your home, extending beyond the pantry, as they will go to other areas of your home, such as closets and attics.

Pantry moths are highly attracted to light, which is one of the main reasons they infest many different foods and locations. They can be found around items that have been exposed to light, such as crackers, flour, and cereal boxes. Often, you will find pantry moths in or near your home where there is a lot of stored food; they prefer warm conditions, and these areas typically have a higher temperature than the rest of your home. Pantry moths are also very mobile and travel short distances to find food.

There are several simple steps that you can take to prevent pantry moths. 

  • First, always clean your dishes immediately after they have been used, and make sure that you dry them. It is important to do this, especially if you have recently eaten out or gone grocery shopping. 
  • Please keep them in an airtight container when dealing with dry food items, such as flour, pre-packaged foods, or grains. This will help prevent infestation because pantry moths cannot get into these containers. 
  • When storing food, ensure that you are using a clean container. 
  • When storing food over long periods, make sure you check the expiration dates and rotate your food products regularly. 
  • Also, do not overstock your pantry because this can lead to an infestation. 
  • Removing items that draw in the insects is the best way to prevent them from making their way into your pantry.

Many reliable techniques exist for removing pantry moths, as well as their larvae, from your house. The first step is to vacuum and clean your kitchen and pantry. Do this as soon as possible after a pantry moth infestation. This will help remove the eggs and webbing that the pantry moths have earlier deposited on your food and remove any dead moths or larvae that may have fallen out of their webs. 

You can remove these items with a small tool or other household items as long as you first remove all the webbing. Cleaning with vinegar will do the same thing. However, it is not advised because vinegar can corrode certain types of plastic.

Related Article: Are Pantry Moths Harmful To Dogs And Pets?

What is a pantry moth?

Pantry moths are caterpillars that feed on the grain and food in your pantry. They are also known as grain borers, cacahuetes, granaries worms, or muslin worms. They have a silken webby cocoon (which may cover several kilograms) and an 18–20 cm long body that is black with a yellow head.

Adult pantry moths lay eggs on food products containing flour, cereals, nuts, peas, and cornmeal. The eggs hatch in approximately seven to ten days into a 5-mm long caterpillar which grows to about 20 mm by the time it is full-grown at around 40–45 days old. It then spins a silken cocoon in which to pupate. The moth emerges from the cocoon after four or five days and may live for seven weeks.

Pantry moths are an indicator of poor storage conditions, as they thrive in warm, dark, and humid places. They can breed in almost any food product, and some moths can thrive in dry foods, too, such as rice and wheat.

The pantry moth’s life cycle can be disrupted if it is exposed to sunlight for a long enough period of time. They also cannot survive temperatures below freezing.

Several natural and commercial chemical treatments prevent and kill pantry moths.

In homes, pantry moth infestations are most often found in kitchens and pantries. However, they may also be present in feed rooms of poultry houses if cereals or grains are stored there.

Pantry moth life circle
Source: moth-prevention.com

What are the types of pantry moths?

Moths are insects that are moths, specifically in the family known as Pyralidae. The most significant order in Lepidoptera is also called “butterflies.” There are 10,000 different types of moths, with about 1,400 species. The larvae and adult moths can be seen from July to October or November, depending on the area of your country. Some moths can cause significant damage to stored food products such as flour and grain by eating them from outside or inside their containers.

There can be two types of pantry moths, the Indian meal moth, and the Mediterranean flour moth. 

The Indian meal moth is mostly found in dried fruits and grains. The other pantry moths are the Mediterranean flour moths, commonly found in wheat germ and nuts. 

The adult moths are about 15-18 mm long with grayish wings with dark spots or patches known as eyespots. They feed on fruits, grain products, and occasionally even dead animals. When they are inside your home, they can live for up to a year because they have no natural predators in your house to control their population. If you suspect that your house has pantry moths, you should immediately contact a pest control company. 

If an infestation is not very large, you may be able to prevent the damage that they do by keeping them away from your food items. For example, you can place sticky traps around where they like to feed.

Pantry moths, also known as pantry flies, are common household pests. They infest dry food products such as cereal, flour, pasta, rice, and dog food. Females lay their eggs on the food, and when they hatch, the larvae eat the material inside of it. The webbing between their mouthparts can cause damage to jars and cans. If you see webbing on your food or find empty holes in your food products, it signifies pantry moth infestation. 

These can be passed around from one kitchen to the next through open food packaging and dry food products. Pantry moths can be found in the home as well. They get into homes by what is known as the “hummingbird effect.” They follow a trail of sugar to find their way into the pantry. They also like to lay their eggs in any area with food residue. These include under-cupboard areas, behind appliances, and near spice racks.

Once you identify pantry moths in your home, there are four effective ways to control them. Controlling food sources is an essential part of the process. You should never buy any food items already infested with these moths. If you have any dry food items in your pantry that are already infested with these moths, it is important to dispose of them. 

These moth eggs can be very resilient and hard to control. Ridding your pantry of the larvae will help you prevent a possible re-infestation of these moths. In addition to this, it is essential to wash any open bags, cartons, or containers with soapy water and allow them to dry completely in the open air. It is equally important to keep the rest of your food storage areas clean. Also, bear in mind that pantry moths may find their way into other parts of your house if you leave them out. You’ll find them behind cabinets, behind appliances, and under spice racks, to name just a few possibilities. It’s also crucial to maintain your kitchen clean and your floors vacuumed regularly.

The next step in preventing a re-infestation is identifying the source of getting into your home. This can be caused by food packaging from commercial sources or open packages in the pantry that these moths have already infested. Discard all food products that have been infested with these moths, and make sure that you thoroughly clean all open containers, bags, boxes, and lids.

The last thing you should do is contact your local pest control company regarding the pantry moth infestation extermination issue. They are a common problem in homes, and it is essential to remedy this situation as soon as possible. Insect control companies are trained in managing these issues and can offer valuable advice on keeping them from re-infesting your home again.

Your local pest management professional is also trained in dealing with infestations. They know what products to use and have access to the best products on the market. Be sure you choose an experienced company to get the job done right.

Biological control of pest insects is a standard solution for many homeowners today. By releasing ‘good” insects into our environment, we can significantly reduce or even eliminate issues such as pantry moths. If a large infestation does occur, removing insect predators is often the best solution. Many common insects are known to prey on pantry moths. 

These include ladybugs, lacewings, and assassin bugs. It is essential not to use dangerous pesticides in our homes today as they can be harmful to our children and pets. This type of biological pest control, or IPM, is an affordable and safer alternative for many families.

Pantry moth infestation extermination

Although these pests can be difficult to control, there are still ways you can reduce this problem ultimately. 

  • If you live in a home near an area with wild berries, you may be susceptible to having pantry moths. 
  • If your town has many green spaces or parks nearby, these are common breeding grounds for these pests. 
  • You must first control your food by thoroughly cleaning everything and keeping it away from these insects. 
  • Next, you must reduce their food source. 
  • Finally, if they are breeding around your house, create a barrier that will deter them from coming into the house.

Be sure you choose pest control professionals who have experience dealing with these pests for pantry moth infestation extermination. They should be certified by a national organization like the Pest Control Association or the International Pest Management Association. Be sure their licenses are current, adequately trained, and approved to deal with these pests. 

You can easily prevent the problem of pantry moths. The best way to prevent these pests is by thoroughly cleaning your food so that they can not lay their eggs on it. Also, do not buy any food products that have already been infested. In addition to this, you should also make sure you keep your pantry clean and vacuum the floors often to prevent this issue from ever occurring in the first place. 

Pantry moth infestation extermination professionals have the tools and skills necessary to deal with these pests. In addition, they can offer you tips on what foods to avoid and what actions will help to prevent them from infesting your home. 

Insects are a prevalent source of problems in our homes these days. If you notice an issue with insects in your home or business, there are three things you need to watch out for. These include:

  • Signs of rips and tears.
  • Discoloration of the wood 
  • Termite droppings

An excellent way to prevent this problem is by ensuring your house has no openings for pests to get into your home. Pest control professionals can help you with this by sealing off any cracks or holes around your home. They are also trained in properly sealing off any entry points before they begin to spray pesticides.

The second step in preventing an infestation is to make sure you control potential food sources. This includes staying away from products such as processed foods that have been known to attract insects. By using fewer processed foods and eating healthier, you can eliminate some pests.

These pests present major problems for our homes today because they eat almost anything. This can include wood, paper, clothing, and even leather items. Their feeding habits can result in very costly problems if left unchecked.

Another thing you can do is check the areas around your home for signs of infestation. Termites may be present if you see rips or tears in your walls or ceilings. They can cause significant problems for the wood in our homes and will eat through almost anything. It is essential to make sure you contact a professional as soon as you notice any issues with your home.

Using termite-proof or even termite-repellent goods is the best way to prevent termites. You can do this by using paint, insulation, and everyday household items. If a problem does occur, many pest control professionals have access to toxic-free products made from natural ingredients. These can be very effective at getting rid of these pests. 

Wood mites, or red spider mites, are ubiquitous in many homes today. These little pests are very tiny, but their damage can be substantial. If you see any discoloration of your wood in your home, this could be a sign of an infestation of these insects.

The first step to preventing this issue is to be sure that you are maintaining your home’s property. As long as there are water leaks in the area where pests dwell, they can’t enter your house.

We share our homes with these animals, which means that human companionship is not always possible. However, there are ways to manage them to keep them outdoors. We can also choose specific ways to live or work without attracting them or inviting them indoors.

Protect your home from intruders by caulking all openings around your windows, doors, and exposed pipes. In addition, seal any holes and gaps on the inside of the house. Finally, check frequently for any new cracks or holes you may have created from wear and tear.

Check all screens to be sure they are in good condition. If you notice any tears, contact your local exterminator for repairs—repair any leaks or water damage to prevent wood-destroying insects from being attracted to your home.

Do not provide nesting materials such as straws, paper sheets, or rags. Never leave used detergents, cleaners, or wet clothes on the floor. Store such materials in closed cabinets where possible. If possible, keep a dirty spare room to store waste and supplies only.

Let pets out to not be tempted to go indoors to relieve themselves.

Notify your landlord immediately if you notice any signs of infestation. Ensure your home is maintained by fixing any water leaks, cracks, or holes as soon as you see them. 

Be sure your home has no openings for these animals to enter the house in the first place.

Always be careful when storing firewood or other wooden items outside the house. Maintain a clean and safe area for storage purposes only. If necessary, have a separate room to store firewood, tools, or other supplies. 

Related Article: Can Cats Eat Pantry Moths?

Signs of pantry moth infestation

A pantry moth is a pesky little fellow that can wreak havoc on your pantry, causing infestations, turning your flour and other dry goods into a rodent-like mess, and getting in the way of your cooking. It is probably the most common pest in the home that can cause trouble, especially since it is tough to detect.

Disadvantages of pantry moth?

Pantry moths are tiny, but they have the potential to cause nothing less than devastating damage to your home. However, they are also a problem you can solve with some easy steps and knowledge of how they behave in your pantry. 

1. Pantry Moths Are Unsightly

Moths are well known for their unsightly appearance, and pantry moths are no exception. They devour food, leaving behind itchy, brown waste wherever they go. This can become a significant problem if you think about the sheer number of items that we store in our pantries every year. 

2. Pantry moths can carry dangerous bacteria.

If you have any doubts about the perils posed by these pests, take a look at what they carry. This is a real threat if you think about all the food we store in our pantries throughout the year. Keeping your pantry clean will avoid new infestations and help you eliminate them quickly.

3. Pantry moths are a health hazard.

While some people may not be worried about a few moths eating through their boxes of granola bars and cans of beans, they should know that these insects can cause serious problems. First, they eat through packaging, making it possible to ingest dangerous bacteria. Moths leave behind waste, or “frass,” making it unsafe to touch or eat food. In addition to these problems, pantry moths also lay eggs on the food. These can cause respiratory issues and a risk of infection.

4. Pantry moths are annoying.

If you need another reason to hire a pest control firm, think about how irritating it is to watch small insects flying around your kitchen. You will not be able to enjoy cooking or dining if you know that you may be dealing with a possible infestation! You should also think about how awful it is to get rid of a moth problem by yourself—and how much easier it would be to hire someone who truly knows their way around eliminating pests!

5. Pantry moths are disgusting

While they are small, they are also gross, they leave behind waste and fibers, making your food look less than appetizing.

6. Pantry moths are hard to get rid of.

These pesky insects are incredibly harmful, but they can also be challenging to get rid of. They love warm, dry environments and seem impervious to many commercial pesticides. Unfortunately, these pesticides may make them even stronger, so you should take care not to use these products in your home unnecessarily. But that doesn’t imply you’re powerless in the situation. It’s possible to ensure that your pantry never sees another pantry moth again with the aid of a pest control firm!

7. Pantry moths are a pain to get rid of.

Moths are hard to get rid of because they eat through their food packaging and stick around where they like the temperature. As a result, you must hire a reputable pest control firm as soon as you notice an infestation. You don’t want to have to replace your food and throw it all away because these pests were left unchecked for too long. Ensure that you protect your food and fight hard against these insects as soon as you see them!

8. Pantry Moths Are A Nightmare

Imagine how much simpler your life would be if you didn’t have to worry about dealing with pantry moths. You could store more food in a safe, dry location that isn’t currently inhabited by hundreds of tiny insects waiting to ruin your favorite foods. You could sleep at night without knowing that a few of these moths were fluttering. You could relax and enjoy preparing healthy, delicious meals for your friends and family without fearing that you might end up with a few extra guests in the form of tiny, ugly moths!

9. Pantry moths are a waste of time.

More importantly, think about how much time it would save if you didn’t have to worry about getting rid of pantry moths. You could sleep better knowing that they weren’t crawling around your bed. You could enjoy relaxing in the living room with friends and family instead of worrying about the possibility of an attack. You could even enjoy a quiet, peaceful meal without thinking about how these moths are ruining your house. If you are tired of wasting time, energy, and the expense of pantry moths in your home, you should use a professional pest control company to rid your home of this problem!

10. Pantry moths can be relatively simple to get rid of.

While we have listed some of the more dangerous behaviors that these pests can display, it is also true that they are relatively easy to get rid of when you know how to handle them properly. Therefore, it is essential to understand the habits of these insects and what behavior is most likely to result in their demise. If you take the time to learn how to get rid of pantry moths, you can be sure that you will never have to deal with this problem again!

This is an essential aspect of any service sold to people who want to avoid future problems. You can find these sorts of companies online and in various local stores. Most pest control providers can also guide you through what kinds of pest control treatments are best for particular infestations. When you know how to avoid many common pest problems and handle pantry moths, you can ensure that your home will never have these pests again!

11. Pantry moths damage food.

While they may not seem like they cause much damage, they can do just that. Pantry moths are capable of eating a wide variety of foods. Unfortunately, they have also been known to leave behind waste that can spoil many foods, including grains, pasta, fruits, etc.

12. Pantry moths are the current pantry problem. 

As previously stated, pantry moths are just one example of common pests that you should be wary of. While some types seem more dangerous than others, it is equally important to understand the behavior and habits of each one so that you can avoid them! Use the tips on this website to learn all about these pests so that you can prevent problems from arising!

How to get rid of pantry moths?

Moths are most attracted to clothes with dark colors and fabrics such as wool, cashmere, and silk. You should store your clothing in a sealed container or bag or put it in the freezer to keep it from getting into your apparel.

If you have pantry moths (or grain moths), don’t worry! You can combat these pesky bugs with natural solutions that eliminate the moth infestation and protect against future ones.

How do I know if I have a pantry moth infestation?

To figure out if you have a pantry moth infestation in your home, look for the signs of their presence.

1. Cluttered areas

The moths will leave small, brown pellets on your shelves, which are the droppings of food they have eaten. In addition, you may also find them falling to the floor when you open a drawer or kitchen cupboard. This means you have a problem with pantry moths.

2. Webbing and egg sacks

You will see webbing on top of containers, bags of flour, and pet food. You might also find their white egg sacks stuck to different surfaces. If this happens, you have a problem with pantry moths.

3. Moth larvae and adult moths

If you see small caterpillars chewing the food, or if you happen to spot moths flying around your home, you might want to check your kitchen cabinets and pantry for any signs of these bugs.

Then what should I do?

You can’t just ignore a pantry moth infestation, as it will spread like crazy if not checked! To get rid of pantry moths, use the following steps:

With homemade solutions:

1. Line the containers with crepe paper or tissue paper

The moths are attracted to dark, shiny objects, so you can use white paper to line your containers. The moth will mistake this for food and leave it alone. Pantry moths can be easily eradicated using this method.

2. Pour baking soda into your bags

You should put several tablespoons of baking soda into a bag with some cooking oil. It will camouflage the smell of the moth larvae and prevent them from moving around as they feed on your food. However, note that you should not place these bags near your food because it will burn them!

3. Remove the food from the pantry.

You should seal the pantry shut to prevent new moths from entering. You must also take out all the food to prevent it from moving around. If you put them back in immediately, they will ruin your food. So, you need to keep them in a dark, dry location for a few days.

4. Clean and disinfect your kitchen.

Warm water and castile soap or dish detergent are the finest disinfectants. However, if you see any moth larvae still left on your surfaces, you need to use a safe chemical for people and pets (like hydrogen peroxideOpens in a new tab.) to get rid of them.

5. Eliminate the source

If you have a plant infestation, you need to remove it immediately. It’s important to note that some plants emit a chemical that attracts moths, so you should use lukewarm water and dish detergent for cleaning. Clean up any spilled food as well.

With natural pest repellents:

1. Plant mint on all your food

Mint has been shown to repel both pantry moths and flour beetles, the two significant pests in your kitchen. The more mint is planted on your crops, the more it will repel the pests from feeding on them.

2. Lemon and orange peels in your cupboards

Citrus fruits are very effective in repelling bugs from your kitchen cupboards. However, they will leave the fruit and come back to find the place empty. Soak some cotton balls with lemon juice, and then put them inside your cabinets to repel the pests. The smell of lemons is a big turn-off for moths, and they will avoid it.

3. Essential oils

Lavender oilOpens in a new tab. is highly effective as a natural pest repellent and a natural insecticide (it kills them). You can spray your pantry with lavender essential oil or boil some water and dip a few cotton balls into it. Then, you will soak the cotton balls in the water and put them in your pantry. Alternatively, you can use pure lavender oil.

4. Cedar chips

CedarOpens in a new tab. is another great option for keeping moths at bay because it contains natural oils that only insects hate. The scent of cedar drives them away, so you should keep some around your kitchen while trying to get rid of these pests. If you prefer not to have it out, then placing cedar wood chips in mesh bags and hanging them around your kitchen will do the trick!

5. Dry lavender and peppermint tea

Use a few drops of peppermint oilOpens in a new tab. or lavender oil in your pantry to keep the moths away. Another way you can use this is by boiling some water and pouring it into a pot to make a nice cup of tea. Then, you should place the tea bags on your shelf and leave them for 24 hours. The next day, you will find that the moths have flown away.

With natural solutions that are safe for pets:

1. Clover

Clovers are a great option, as they treat both humans and animals. Clover leaves are bitter, so they don’t attract moths. You should take some clovers and spike them into different areas of your house. You can also take some fresh clover water and pour it into a spray bottle as a natural pest repellent.

2. Rosemary oil

Another excellent choice for repelling the bugs is rosemary oilOpens in a new tab., as it smells very attractive to them, and thus, they tend to stay away from this area. You should mix the rosemary oil with two cups of boiling water and then put it in an inverted spray bottle for use all over your home. This will help purify your home without you having to do much cleaning!

3. Oils of orange, citronella, and lemongrass

As mentioned above, citrus fruits effectively repel bugs. For this reason, you should take a few drops of orange oilOpens in a new tab. and place them in a spray bottle or light any other dispenser that you have available in your home. The same applies to citronellaOpens in a new tab. and lemongrassOpens in a new tab.. The smell of these oils will make them stay away from your kitchen.

4. Peppermint

Another great option is peppermint oilOpens in a new tab., as it keeps the bugs at bay due to its minty scent. You can boil some water and pour it into your favorite tea bag for about 15 minutes before hanging it around your pantry for 24 hours. You should hang them high so moths will be drawn to the light and stay away from the area where they are hanging. Once you take it down, you need to clean them so moths will not find their way back.

5. Baking soda

Although baking sodaOpens in a new tab. is not a natural product, it works well in repulsing moths. You should put about two tablespoons of baking soda in a plastic bag and then hang it around your kitchen for about 24 hours. The next day, you need to dry out all the baking soda in your kitchen by placing it on a heat source like an electric fan or stovetop. Then, you should put it back in your pantry for about a week. The moths will not find it delicious and will leave the area soon.

Baking soda is not strictly natural, but it is harmless to humans. However, you should never overuse baking soda in your home because it can cause respiratory issues in pets and children if you inhale too much.

6. Cayenne pepper powder

Cayenne pepper powderOpens in a new tab. is also a great way to repel moths naturally without any chemicals or side effects. First, you should take some cayenne pepper and mix it with a bit of water before crushing it into a fine powder. Then, you should put the mixture on a coffee filter and spread it out to make it look like a powder.

Once you’ve done that, take the filter and put it at the bottom of your pantry or under your sink in the kitchen. The moths won’t come near that area because they know that pepper is not their favorite thing!

You can also sprinkle cayenne pepper all over your cabinets to eliminate any food moths. Or make up some spray bottles with water, and mix in some cayenne pepper for spraying around your kitchen!

7. Lemon

The smell of lemon will keep the pests away since they hate the scent. You can take a lemon and cut it in half. Then, take a knife and cut the peel off. Put both halves of the lemon in an open container with holes poked into it so that air can flow through and make room for bugs to enter and die inside (you can use yogurt containers or mason jar jars). Gently shake the container up and down. The scent of lemon will slowly work its way into your kitchen as long as you don’t leave it too long!

8. Lavender oil

Lavender essential oilOpens in a new tab. is another excellent option for getting rid of moths because it has natural insect repellent properties. You can use it in various ways: you can mix it with a few drops of water to make a spray bottle for spraying all over your pantry, mix a few drops of it with some vinegar and drink it, or put some drops in your toilet to keep the moths away.

Treatment of Pantry Moths:

There are two types of pesticides that you can use to treat pantry moths. The first is dust, and it has to be applied correctly. Make sure you read the instructions carefully before you apply them to ensure that it is safe for you and your family. When the dust is coated onto a product, make sure that you then seal it with plastic wrap or another type of heat-sealable material so that there is no chance for any new infestation to occur on the solidified dust. 

Pesticides are also very effective in licking moths. To get rid of them, you will need to apply that pesticide to the underside of your cabinets and the inside of the pantry shelves. You can also buy sprays from any home improvement store that will kill any eggs or larvae in your dry foods.

Though it is not very common in homes, you should always check your dry goods before purchasing them to be ready for consumption. If they are infested with moths, you will notice a lot of small white dots on the bags or containers that they come in. If there are already eggs in the food, place it into a plastic bag and freeze it for two weeks. This will kill any larvae in the food product and ensure that no new ones emerge from the eggs laid by the moth.

If you have found a pantry moth infestation in your home, you will have to remove them from your products and your kitchen cabinets. Unfortunately, simply using an open container of diatomaceous earth is not usually enough to kill all of them without destroying what you put into it.

House mite

A house mite is a tiny arachnid pest that eats over 200 types of insects and their eggs. They are primarily seen in homes with a high level of humidity and in storage rooms or places where items are stacked too close together. However, they are also commonly found in sheds, barns, and basements. 

  • Habitat: Houses with a high level of carpeting provide the perfect habitat for these pests. They may hide in nooks, and crevices humans may miss. You can find their egg cases on carpets, curtains, floorboards (especially near heat sources), rugs, and pieces of furniture. When hatching their eggs, they can cause damage to any material that they are attached to. 
  • Appearance: These pests are typically less than 2.5 inches long, and they have a tan-brown color. They tend to run and hide when disturbed, but this will only make them more noticeable. A full-grown house mite will have eight legs, but the younger ones often lose their legs as they mature. Young mites may easily hide in cracks and crevices smaller than 1/8 inch.
  • Diet: The most common food source for these pests is dead insects and their eggs and young ones. However, they also feed on plants, fungi, and even dry human skin cells (especially if the humidity level is high). 
  • Reproduction: These pests are most commonly found in homes with high humidity levels. This is one of the main reasons they are typically found in high-carpet areas or near heat sources, basements, and storage room spots. The common house mite prefers to lay its eggs in carpeting, curtains, and floorboards near these heat sources. Once their eggs have hatched, these bugs can travel up to 25 feet away from their initially hatched location. 

Life Cycle

The female house mite will lay her eggs by attaching them to pieces of furniture or carpeting near a heat source. Each egg case may hold 100 eggs and hatch in two to three weeks. Once the house mite has hatched, it will begin feeding on various food sources. These include dead insects (such as flies, mosquitoes, and other types of bugs) and plant materials, fungi, and human skin cells. 

This makes them a significant pest found in households regardless of whether or not they have high humidity levels. They eat insect eggs and larvae, but they’ve also eaten damp human skin.

Control

High-humidity homeowners should take extra steps to avoid house mite bites. If you believe you have this bug, act quickly—the best method: is mite-specific insecticides. There are also several other methods for controlling these pests, but none of these methods has been confirmed as 100% effective.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs live on tree and shrub leaves, branches, and stems. They look like tiny, white and cotton clusters. This is one of the most common pests known to infest trees and shrubs, but they are also found on the leaves of many kinds of potted plants.

Mealybugs typically feed on the sap of their host plant, which can cause the leaves to become discolored or deformed. They can also cause spots or blemishes by excreting a sticky substance containing excessive honeydew. This will often attract insects and promote mold growth in areas that accumulate on the plant’s surface or nearby surfaces.

  • Habitat: Mealybugs are a common pest for indoor and outdoor plants, shrubs, and trees. Therefore, homeowners must inspect their potted plants at least once a week during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. 
  • Appearance: Mealybugs look like tiny, white, cotton ball-like clusters. They live on the undersides of leaves, branches, and shrub tops.
  • Diet: Mealybugs eat plant sap and caterpillars, so they are commonly found in plants that use this food source. Insect larvae and eggs captured in the sap of plants are also recognized food sources.
  • Reproduction: Mealybugs can reproduce quickly to levels that can cause severe damage to their host plants. They deposit wax-coated eggs on the undersides of leaves and trees. There are multiple generations of mealybugs per year, which means that this type of pest can reproduce within a few weeks if its host plant has an ample food source. 

Mealybugs are commonly found in all environments, but they tend to infest plants more than any other kind of insect. All of these bugs feed on plant sap. As a result, cottony masses can spread swiftly across nearby leaves and branches.

Pantry Moth Infestation

FAQ: Pantry moth infestation extermination

Moths are very tiny, with a wingspan of about a quarter inch. They have hairy bodies and can feed on materials like wool and cotton. Pantry moths are the larvae of the Indian Meal Moth, a common pest found in North American households that provide mainly grain products, including cereal, pasta, flour, and other dry goods.

Like most moths, pantry moths have a four-stage life cycle that can take 6 to 8 weeks to complete under average household temperatures. 

  • First, the eggs hatch, and the larvae feed on whatever food they happen to be near. 
  • Then, after a few weeks (depending on temperature), the larvae form cocoons, exit their current food source, and become adult moths. 
  • A few more days go by, and the adult males emerge from their cocoons, only to die soon after mating with females. 
  • The females then emerge from their cocoons with wings intact and ready to begin feeding and laying more eggs. 
  • Generally, 10 to 12 generations of pantry moth activity per year are typical in warm locations, and 25 generations in cold areas.

What is Pantry Moth Larvae?

Pantry moth larvae (also referred to as webbing) are the white grubs that often infest people’s homes and make their way into food products. They can be found in cereals, flour, coffee, cornmeal, rice, other grains, and dried seafood products. 

It will also migrate into cabinets and clothing. The adult moths emerge from their cocoons a day or two after they begin feeding on the larva. During her lifetime, a female can lay 500 eggs. The eggs are less than 1/8 inch in size and usually, appear as tiny white spots on infested food products. As a pantry moth matures, its color changes from yellowish-white to tan or brown. The larvae can grow to about 1 1/2 inches long.

What do pantry moths eat?

Pantry moths are considered pest insects because they feed on stored dry food products and items made of wool and silk. They also feed on various foods, including cereals, spices, alcohol, chocolate, sugar, and dried fruits. 

The larvae are found in:

  • Grain products
  • Dried fruits
  • Spices
  • Dried vegetables
  • Dry commodities

The adult moths emerge from their cocoons a day or two after hatching. The female moth may lay up to 500 eggs during her lifetime. The eggs are less than 1/8 inch in size and usually, appear as tiny white spots on infested food products. As a pantry moth matures, its color changes from yellowish-white to tan or brown.

How do pantry moth larvae harm people?

Pantry moths can reduce harvested crop yields by 40% due to their predacious feeding habits on stored grain products and dry cat food. Pesticides are ineffective against an infestation. In addition, pantry moth larvae can cause economic damage by contaminating food products that later go to market.

How does pantry moth affect me?

There are many different items that pantry moths may infest. This includes dry goods such as flour, meal, and cereal. They will also tend to have an appetite for pet food and dried fruits like raisins, dried apricots, and dates. An infestation of pantry moths will make it impossible to store high-heat foods in your pantry because they can cause a fire hazard if they land on any food items.

When you have an infestation of a pantry moth, the larvae will leave their silken cocoons and start eating your food. They can be very destructive to your dry goods because they will eat the whole food. When the larvae are done eating, they will turn into white moths with a brown zigzag pattern on their wings. They will be about ¼ inch long and 1/5 inch wide.

How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths?

Home treatments for pantry moths abound. Products centered around diatomaceous earth tend to be popular because moths cannot chew through it. Once the food product is covered with diatomaceous earth, it needs to sit for one week before the infestation is removed from the food product and house. You can also buy sprays from any home improvement store that will kill any eggs or larvae in your dry foods.

How to Prevent Pantry Moths? 

There are a few ways to prevent pantry moths from invading your home. You should first check all of your dry goods to ensure they are not infested. If there are already eggs in the food, place it into a plastic bag and freeze it for two weeks. This will kill any larvae in the food product and ensure that no new ones emerge from the eggs laid by the moth. Moths cannot reach all of your grains and other dried products.

Where Do I Find Pantry Moths?

First of all, pantry moths are very hard to get rid of, so they can cause a lot of damage. They are often found in garages and closets, which means the infestation could be there for quite some time if it has already been going on for a while. Many people describe the moth as a sizeable brownish moth that is about the size of an apple seed. It will usually stay in the small spaces in your house, especially closets and pantries.

Why are pantry moths a problem?

Pantry moths can cause a lot of problems for homeowners. Besides being super annoying, they also like to chew on your food and make it inedible. Therefore, getting rid of these pests is an absolute must before they infest your whole pantry and ruin everything there. Another downside is that they are often found in closets containing your clothes, which can cause an odor problem because of all the food you have there.

What Should I Do if My Food is Infested with Pantry Moths?

First of all, you should decide whether or not it is necessary to throw away the entire product. If the food has only been infested in a small area, it might be possible to cut out the affected part and eat it or freeze it. It won’t be easy to cleanse the rest of the product thoroughly, but if half of it is still edible, this might be your best option. You will also want to make sure that you wash all the products before eating them.

Since there are usually many different types of moths in a pantry, there are probably many kinds of larvae in each product. Therefore, you must visually inspect your dry goods before purchasing them.

Most home moth inspection kits involve a lot of mess and are not very useful for finding eggs or larvae that might be located in hard-to-see areas. If you would like to use an effective kit, the best way is to use a heat lamp to find these infestations. Be sure that the light stays on for 5 minutes, and then turn it off so that it can cool down before removing it from the food. 

Pantry moths reproduce quickly, so they can be challenging to eliminate. If you cannot remove them from your whole house, then attempt to eradicate them case-by-case within the kitchen. Remember that pantry moths lay eggs and can also be found on non-food items such as dry food, pet food, toiletries, fabric, and wood.

 

Charles

Charles is a freelance writer whose areas of expertise include home renovation, gardening, and design. A graduate with a degree in Digital Marketing and Business Management. Charles formerly worked as a freelance writer for a range of local blogs and business media. Always typing away on his laptop or tackling his newest home improvement project.

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