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Why Illinois Residents Should Be on the Lookout for Indian Meal Moths This Fall

November 27, 2018

indian meal moth in sugar

No one likes the idea of finding bugs in their food. Just considering this can make you feel a little sick to your stomach. In Illinois, when fall arrives and the weather gets cooler, you often think you’re in the clear when it comes to the food in your own home. The annoying house flies that may have bothered you during the summer fade away and you may let your guard down. There is still a chance you will find bugs in your food stores this fall, though. Indian meal moths don’t take a winter sabbatical, which means you could find them enjoying life in your home.

What are Indian Meal Moths?

Indian meal moths are small in size, typically around a ½ inch in length, with distinctly-patterned wings. The half closest to their head is a tannish-gray color, while the other half is more of a bronze, with the two shades being separated by a dark band in between.

Dry food products such as cereal, dried fruit, granola, pet food, and seeds are attractive to Indian meal moths. Adults often lay their eggs in those food products, which will eventually develop into larvae that eat the food source where they find themselves living.

Why Am I Seeing Indian Meal Moths in My Home?

Indian meal moths can get into your home a couple of ways. If there are any living outside your home this time of year, they’ll be looking for a warm place to stay for the rest of fall and through the winter. They may try to enter your home through gaps they find around its exterior.

It’s more likely, however, that Indian meal moths will get into your house through the groceries you bring home. Indian meal moths are common in food processing and storage facilities. If eggs or larvae end up in a bag of flour, for instance, that bag can be shipped to the store, then brought home by you. Those larvae eventually develop into adults, reproduce, and the cycle will start over again, but this time in your house.

Are Indian Meal Moths Dangerous?

Although they won’t harm you, the eggs and larvae of Indian meal moths will contaminate your food stores, wasting both your food and your hard-earned money.

How Do I Get Rid of Indian Meal Moths?

There are a few preventative measures you can take to avoid the introduction of Indian meal moths into your home:

  • Seal all gaps, holes, and cracks around the outside of your house to prevent their entry.
  • Inspect all bags and boxes of dry foods at the grocery store before bringing them into your home.
  • Indian Meal Moths can chew through a bag or box to get to its contents, so look for small holes in the packaging.
  • Store dry goods in airtight plastic or glass storage containers once you bring them home.
  • Clean up spills in your pantry or kitchen to help eliminate attractive food sources.
  • Call in the professionals. Sometimes preventative measures will only take you so far. Indian meal moths are sneaky, and may still find their way inside your home even when you are extremely careful. In that case, it’s best to get help from Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators.

Quik-Kill can inspect your home for Indian meal moths and take the action necessary to eliminate the problem in a safe and effective way. If you find your Illinois home has been invaded by these pesky pantry pests, give us a call today to discuss your best course of action.


TAGS: pantry pests | residential pest control |

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