Pantry Moths: What You Need to Know

Finding a few small moths in pantry may not seem like a problem at first. However, those few moths can cause more headaches than you might imagine imagined.  Finding one or two adult moths may be the tip-off to an infestation that could take over the kitchen in just a few days. Getting rid of pantry moths is more difficult than just using a fly swatter on the adult insects found inside.  In only a few weeks, one may have hundreds of moths swarming out of the pantry every time the door is opened. Additionally, those moths will mate and lay eggs in the food, spoiling any unsealed containers of grain products.

Life Cycle of the Pantry Moth

A female moth is capable of laying over 400 eggs. She will lay eggs in any available food source.  Once the eggs hatch, the larva will feed on whatever food is available.  The larva is a grub-like worm with five pairs of legs. It takes several weeks for the larva to complete this feeding stage of its life.  Moths in pantry or cabinet will consume almost anything containing grain. Cornstarch, breakfast cereal, pet food, rice, oatmeal and even birdseed can feed pantry moth larva. Pantry moth larva will pounce upon any tiny crumb left unnoticed in the back of the pantry. The nasty droppings left behind by pantry moth larva will spoil whole packages of food items.

When they have completed the larva stage, pantry moths spin cocoons and enter the pupa stage of their cycle.  Sometimes, they spin the cocoons directly in the food source. Yet other times, pantry moths crawl into any crack or crevice available and spin the cocoon there. After a couple of weeks, the pupa will become adult moths, ready to mate and lay more eggs.

What to Do If You Have Pantry Moths

This cycle will be repeated until all of the available food is consumed.  Therefore, if moths are found in the pantry, one should act immediately.  First, the entire pantry should be emptied.  All unsealed food packages should be examined for moth larva.  To be on the safe side, many people simply toss any food items that are not sealed in plastic. Next, every shelf in the pantry must be scrubbed with vinegar, soap and hot water.

If moths in pantry persist, a professional pest control company may be of help. Moth pupa and larva may be lurking in cracks and crevices that hot water cannot adequately clean.  A professional will be able to spray every corner of the affected area and finally put an end to moths in pantry.
Call Terminix today at 8558012113 for more information, or fill out our online form to receive a free termite inspection or pest evaluation.

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