Indian Meal Moth Control & Removal

Serving Vancouver British Columbia | Abbotsford | Burnaby | Maple Ridge

Indian meal moths are one of the most common pantry pests. They can be a big nuisance when they infest homes or commercial properties here in Vancouver BC. Indian meal moths usually take up residence in areas of your home or business where flour and grain products are stored. This is what makes them a pantry pest, as most people catch sight of them when opening up bags or flour or other dried goods in their property. It’s important to know how to keep these nuisance pests away. The Indian meal moth control experts at Rentokil, formerly OnSite Pest Control are here to help!

What Do Indian Meal Moths Look Like?

The Indian meal moth goes through several life stages to adulthood.  However, the presence of adult meal moths is usually what alerts the resident to an infestation. To identify these pantry pests, look for the following signs:

  1. Eggs are approximately 0.5 mm in length and are grayish white. You will find them singly or in clusters laid directly on food sources.
  2. Larvae go through five to seven moults before moving to the next stage of development. Mature larvae are around 1.5 cm in length with five pairs of prolegs which help them move in order to pupate. They are usually off-white in colour but can be pink, brown or have a green tinge depending on the food source.
  3. Indian Meal Moth pupae are between 0.5 mm and 1 cm long and are pale brown in colour. The larvae can pupate in a cocoon or unprotected.
  4. The final stage of development is, of course, adulthood. Fully grown Indian Meal Moths have two-tone wings (grey and reddish brown) which differentiates them from clothing moths, for which they are often mistaken. They measure around 1 cm in length with a wingspan of approximately 3cm.

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Indian Meal Moth Behaviors

The life cycle of an Indian meal moth can take place over anywhere between 30 and 300 days, depending on temperature and food source. The nocturnal adult female can lay up to 400 eggs in an 18-day cycle with fertilization occurring just 3 days after emergence. As discussed, the eggs are laid directly onto the food source.

The larvae are surface feeders causing damage to your food products by spinning silk that hoards fecal matter, skin castings, and eggshells.  When they are ready to pupate, the larvae will leave the food source looking for somewhere to spin a cocoon. This is why it can sometimes be difficult to find the source of the infestation and why people often mistake these pests for clothing moths when they find them in other areas away from the kitchen. It’s best to enlist the help of an Indian meal moth removal expert to help identify and get rid of an infestation.

Indian Meal Moth Pest Control Tips

The best Indian meal moth control is to prevent them from getting indoors in the first place! Our top Indian meal moth pest control tips are:

  1. Examine all cereals, flour, and dried fruit for infestations before you buy them. Check for damage and always check the packaging date for freshness.  Infestations can be identified by webbing in the food itself or white worms on the packaging.
  2. Foods used infrequently should be purchased in small amounts. All dried foods should be stored in suitable screw-top containers preferably glass, metal, or plastic with tight-fitting lids.
  3. Keep your kitchen clean. Clear up any spills in cupboards and on countertops promptly.

Expert Indian Meal Moth Extermination

In many cases, infestations are small and can be resolved with a thorough clean. First and foremost, all infested food must be discarded. Examine everything for evidence, keeping in mind Indian Meal Moths are capable of chewing through unopened cardboard and plastic packaging. The important thing is to find and eliminate the source. Following that, all spilled foods must be cleaned up and the area scrubbed with soap and hot water making sure to remove and destroy any cocoons found.

However, if you find yourself overwhelmed, Rentokil, formerly OnSite Pest Control has a team of Indian meal moth pest control pros ready to help. Our treatment consists of a light aerosol application for an initial “knock-down” follow by a residual spray that is applied to the cracks and crevices of cupboards and affected areas following proper preparation by the resident. For more information on how we can keep your home Indian meal moth-free, contact our team today!

Indian Meal Moth Control & Removal in Vancouver BC

Serving the Vancouver & Abbotsford BC area

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