It’s not a great feeling when you open up your cabinets or pantry and you notice moths have decided to make themselves at home. This pest is likely not just any moth, but the Indian meal moth, aka “the pantry moth.” These moths can infest any number of common household foods, including bags or boxes of flour, grains, dried beans, seeds, nuts, cereals, and dry pet foods
These nasty pests may have found their way into your home by infesting the products at the store or in a warehouse before the product was even purchased by you. The adult moths nest in the food and when the products are opened at home the larva that exist in the food start infesting your pantry. They also can find their way in through doorways, vents or any opening they can fit through. Here are some ways to get rid of pantry moths.
Do a Thorough Cleaning
Even though your pantry may be clean and organized it still can be inviting to pests like the dreaded pantry moth. If you take the time to purge any items which have been damaged by the moths and throw away any expired or stale items you'll not only be clearing space but you'll also be removing their food source. After you've removed the food items that are trash, dispose of them immediately in a covered receptacle outdoors. Take the time to wipe down the shelves with a solution of mild dish detergent and water, then you can follow with a weak bleach solution. After thoroughly dry, inspect using a flashlight, paying special attention to the corners and the undersides of shelves, as well as cracks or holes in shelving. Although these moths don't spread disease they are still unsanitary pests so this cleaning step is vital to remove them, their larva, and excess food that might have spilled.
Store Food in Airtight Containers
After cleaning up, it's time to restock your shelves. Be sure to store all dry foods inside airtight containers before placing them in your pantry. This can help prevent the problem from recurring. If the moths have already become severe, this step will help prevent a reinfestation. It’s also a good idea to do a routine check of food items in your pantry. Keep in mind that the larva can chew through paper and plastic bags, so hard plastic containers with lids or storage jars with lids will protect your food better than plastic baggies.
Remove Trash Immediately on a Daily Basis
Don’t store food trash in the garage or basement while you wait for trash pickup or your next trip to the dump. This provides a food source for the pantry moths and other pests. If you can't take it to a dumpster immediately then keep it in a bag in a secure trash receptacle with a tight lid outdoors and away from your house.
Professional pest removal
If your home is already heavily infested, then it’s important to be proactive with the issue and work quickly to remove the problem. Following these steps can help, but if the infestation is too widespread the moths may require professional removal. A professional will have the know-how, experience and proper pest control products to remove these pests and treat the area to prevent reinfestation. Pests are resilient and this includes the pantry moth. Visit Eagle Pest Services to schedule an appointment.