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The Best Way To Keep Pantry Moths Out Of Your Indianapolis Home

a pantry moth up close

Seeing moths in your house is not usually a big deal. They’ll scare you at first if you mistake them for a roach or a wasp, but then they’ll land on a light. While they’re easy to capture and dispose of when they invade your Indianapolis home one at a time, what happens when multiple moths invade your pantry all at once? Is that even possible?

Pantry Moth Infestation

The pantry moths you’ll deal with most in Indiana are Indian meal moths. Fully grown, these reddish-brown pests are only about a half an inch long with a distinguishing strip of tan above their wings. Although small, these moths can do a ton of damage to your stored foods, and it’s not just the full-grown moths you need to worry about. You see, pantry moths would be easy to prevent if you just had to keep a bunch of moths out of your pantry in order to protect your food. No, that’s not how it works. 
Full-grown pantry moths destroy your stored foods by laying their eggs in the food. These eggs will then hatch inside your dry goods, anything from flour to cereal, and even spices. Once these eggs hatch, the resulting larvae will begin eating the food to help them grow into full-grown pantry moths. The larvae usually resemble worms and are tiny, segmented, and a light yellow, white, or tan color. Once they begin growing, they move from food to food in your pantry, devouring anything in their path.

Prevention Methods

Pantry moths are very attracted to light, so they are usually drawn to your house at night when the lights are on. Any doors and windows that are left open for a short period could be access points. Also, moths will find tiny holes or tears in your screens, whether they are window screens or a screened-in porch. When the lights are on inside, and there are no other nearby light sources, the moths will form a group outside of doors and windows waiting to get in, so night time will be the best time for them to get inside. 
With this in mind, preventative methods should focus inside the house and outside. For exterior protection, you’ll want to make sure all your doors have proper weatherstripping and proper caulking around all windows. Also, double-check any screens for tears or large holes. 
As far as inside prevention methods go, you’ll want to focus on the way you store your food. Even if you store dry goods in boxes, there will always be a way to get in. You’ll want to watch out for any damaged containers, as these will be the first that moths find. Many container and bag options offer much more protection, which will help if you fear an infestation. 
Storing your food in plastic, sealed containers will help, but you also need to be careful of the food you pick up from the store, as moths may have already laid their eggs in the fresh produce and dried goods there as well.

What To Do In The Event Of An Infestation

If you find that meal moths have invaded your pantry already, it’s time for damage control. You’ll want to lay all of the food out separately and get rid of anything infested. You need to place everything else in a secured container that moths cannot infiltrate.

Unfortunately, you can do everything right and still fall victim to meal moths. The best way to get rid of Indian meal moths in all stages of their life cycle is to enlist the help of the home pest control professionals here at Action Pest Control.