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.