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Meal Moths

Meal Moths - Characteristics

Meal Moths are also known as weevil moth, pantry moth or grain moth. The species was named after being noted for feeding on Indian meal or cornmeal and it does not occur natively in India. The larvae of this species have the ability to bite through cardboards, plastic so even sealed containers might be affected. Moths are difficult to eradicate. The species can reproduce on clothing and any source of clothing must be inspected to prevent second infestation. Adult Indian Meal Moth can reach up to 10mm in length with 15-20mm wingspans. Their wing colour is generally reddish-brown, but they also could be dark grey.
The Indian Meal Moth eggs are very small and white and it is very difficult to see them. The newly hatched eggs are also hard to notice. They can feed on different plants based food like grains, dry pet food, birdseed, cereal, soup mix, pasta, bread, dried fruit, nuts, pasta, rice and flour. Indian meal moth is also known to cannibalize larvae.
Usually, the lifecycle of the Indian Meal Moth colony starts in a place where grain is present. Their eggs are greyish white. The eggs are laid directly on the food source in groups between 10 and 30. A female moth can lay between 200-300 eggs at a time.
Larvae begin to hatch after two to fourteen days. Newly hatched larvae feed on grain while the mature larvae are feeding on grain germ. The adult moths can be seen on the walls of grain bins. Their entire lifecycle ranges between 30 to 300 days. As a matter of fact, seven to nine generations of moths can live in a year.

How Did I Get Meal Moths?

Indian Meal Moth infestation begins with stored food that contains their eggs. Additionally, some adult moth can fly into buildings through open windows and vents. These insects could infest your pantry, cupboards and store. The humid environment could help the moths to multiply quickly.
Luckily these insects don't carry any diseases, bacterias or parasites, but they encourage the growth of mould and can change the flavour of the food they infest. Moth infestation could last a long time without proper treatment and control.

Signs Of Infestation

Seeing adults and larvae is the most common sign of moth infestation. Adults can fly between the rooms of your house and most of the time they are commonly mistaken with clothes moths. Larvae moths cover their food with silken webbing. Most of the damage occurs when the larvae spin huge amounts of silk. Those who have moth infestation must throw away all the infested food. Oftentimes the larvae and adults can be seen on where the walls and the ceiling meet.

How To Get Rid Of Meal Moths?

The first thing you need to do is to inspect all the affected areas and food sources. Pay attention to all items that have remained in the cupboards for a long period of time and items that are loosely sealed. Clean thoroughly the cupboards, vacuum all the pantries, empty shelves and pay attention to every crack and gap between the walls and the cupboards. Cleaning with a kitchen cleaner or antibacterial is also highly recommended. Larvae and adult moths can be hiding in cracks and gaps that's why you have to seal any holes. Do not forget to check the ceiling and the walls in your pantry. You must store your food supplies in sealed glass or plastic containers to prevent future infestation. If you are storing pet food any other animal food in the garage or shed, check them too. Keep them in sealed containers too.
What Archer Does
Your local Archer technician is trained to help manage Indian Meal moths and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your technician will design a unique program for your situation.
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Office Telephone: 020 8106 5666

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