How to Spot a Meal Moth

When we hear about the need for pest control, we generally tend to think of pests such as cockroaches, termites, ants, and rodents. It is less often that we hear about home infestations caused by the infamous meal moths. However, despite being slightly lesser-known than the cockroach, meal moths can wreak havoc on your pantry or kitchen. Known for feeding, and laying their eggs in food products like grains and flour, meal moths will infest your food and become a general nuisance to your household. To better know whether you are dealing with a meal moth infestation in your home, let’s cover how to spot a meal moth and where they tend to spawn in your home.

The meal moth, or Pyralis farinalis, is a type of moth of the Pyralidae family. They are a common pest found in pantries or kitchens and feed on grains, cereal, cornmeal, and flour. Like most moths, the meal moth is mostly nocturnal and attracted to light. Adult meal moths are easily recognizable due to the coloring of their wings, which are speckled grey with a rust-brown band toward the ends. Their upper wings are considered colorful by moth standards, and the meal moth generally holds them close to the body while the moth is resting. The adult meal moth has a lifespan of around 6 days, of which it spends its adult life entirely dedicated to the function of reproduction. Within that time, the female meal moth will lay between 300-500 microscopic eggs that will hatch into larvae that are off-white in color and have a brown head.

Meal moths infest your home in one of two ways. They are either brought in with packed food items that have already been infested with eggs or larvae, or from food bought from an infested store or supermarket. Though product manufacturers take extensive efforts to prevent infestation and prevent the delivery of tainted food, meal moths can be hard to contain. Therefore, despite best efforts, infested product can occasionally slip by and make its way to the grocery aisle.

Once in your home, the meal moth will overrun your pantry. Larvae will chew through packaging to feed on other foods. They will also hide among grains they are feeding on or within various cracks they find. Though preferring grains, larva will also feed on dried fruit, seeds, and even cork. You may also find webs in your food from larvae creating silken cocoons as they transition into pupas. Larvae can even make their way to areas several meters from infested food in the pantry as they crawl around trying to find places where the can make their cocoons. Once an adult, the meal moth will lay its eggs in grains, flour, and cereal to ensure the survival of its offspring.

Once you determine that you have a meal moth infestation, there are a few options you can take to rid yourself of the pests. You can apply chemical insecticides to all cracks and crevices found within your shelves and cupboards to prevent future infestation. Or, if you are concerned whether you will be effective at removing the infestation on your own, you can contact pest control to handle the infestation. Just know that pest control or pesticides alone will not be enough to completely eliminate the infestation, and additional effort will need to be made to dispose of all contaminated foods. However, pest control can effectively remove a meal moth infestation from your pantry and prevent reinfestation in your home. If you are finding meal moths in your home, call pest control in Vancouver to get rid of these annoying pests.

Pet Risks Posed by Fleas: How Pest Removal Services Can Protect Your Pet’s Health

Fleas are a nuisance. Not only do they irritate your pets, but they can irritate you as well with their bites and dander. However, a flea infestation is more than just an irritant, but poses a serious health risk to your pets. Fleas transmit diseases as well as other parasites that can harm the overall wellness of your pet and possibly be fatal. Here are some pet diseases that can be caused or transmitted through fleas.

1. Anemia
Fleas can cause anemia or a significant amount of blood loss in pets over time, since fleas can consume 15 times their own weight in blood. This can be especially problematic for young puppies, as an adequate number of red blood cells is crucial, and can be life-threatening if compromised.

2. Flea Allergy Dermatitis
A flea infestation can cause an allergic reaction in your pets. Your dog or cat can experience intense itching and discomfort, generalized hair loss, reddened skin, hot spots, and scabs. Flea allergy dermatitis often leads to skin infections as well.

3. Plague
This is the same disease that riddled Europe during the Middle Ages. Though it is no longer common for humans to catch the plague, pets can still be infected. If a flea had previously bitten an infected animal then it can easily infect your dog or cat. Pets that catch the plague will have symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, and can possibly die suddenly.

4. FPV (Feline panleukopenia virus)
FPV is a viral infection that infects cats, and can be spread through contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids as well as by fleas. FPV attacks the lining of the intestines, causing ulcers, bloody diarrhea, malnutrition, anemia, and often death. FVP is highly infectious and has a high mortality rate amongst cats.

5. Cat Scratch Disease
Cat Scratch Disease does not negatively affect cats, but can put their owners at risk. Fleas pass CSD from one cat to another, and close to 40% of cats will carry the disease at some point in their lives. CSD passes to humans when infected flea feces is transferred from the pet to their owner through a bite or scratch, and can cause fever, headaches, fatigue, and general illness.

6. Tapeworms
Fleas can infect your pet with tapeworms if your dog or cat eats a flea that is carrying tapeworm eggs inside its body. Once inside your pet, the tapeworm hatches and attaches itself to your pet’s intestines. This can cause excessive weight loss, vomiting, and irritation.

If your pet is infested with fleas, then you should take the following precautions to rid your pet and your home of the infestation.

Part 1: Treat Your Pet

-Bathe your pet using a gentle shampoo or a commercial flea dip. After the bath, comb your pet with a flea comb.
-Treat your pet with oral and topical medication such as Frontline and Advantage.
-Wash your pet’s bedding as well as any cloth items that have been on the floor. Do this all at the same time, removing everything at once and keeping clean items wrapped in bags for 12 hours after you’ve treated your house.

Part 2: Treat Yourself and Your Home

-Clean your floors thoroughly. Vacuum all carpets, rugs, and upholstery and mop all smooth floors with a cleaning agent.
-Purchase flea control spray or fogger. Make sure to purchase product that also kills flea eggs, and if using a fogger, purchase enough to bomb the entire square footage of your home. Spray your carpets, rugs, furniture, and along walls. Don’t forget corners, edges, and underneath furniture and cushions. If you are unsure of the amount needed, or want to ensure treatment is done correctly, hire professional pest removal services.
-Spray your house again two weeks after the first treatment to kill any new fleas that might have emerged from their cocoons.

After the initial treatment of your home, you can find many home remedies on the internet, such as sprinkling salt on your carpets, which claim to protect your home from reinfestation. However, most of these home remedies require a certain amount of time and effort while only producing minimal and unreliable results. The best option for making sure that your house is truly rid of fleas and protected from reinfestation is to employ pest removal services. A professional in the business knows exactly how to address a flea infestation and how to overcome the aggravating tenacity of fleas and their tendency to reinfest. By hiring pest removal services, you save yourself time and effort by allowing professionals to handle the job. Furthermore, you have the peace of mind that you are taking all the necessary steps to ensure that fleas don’t potentially endanger the health of your pet. So if you’re seeing fleas on your pet, get out the flea shampoo, and contact your nearest Vancouver pest removal services to get the job done.