washington dc home with an indian meal moth problem

What is an Indian Meal Moth?

Indian meal moths are pests of stored food products that are frequently encountered in our area. As adults, Indian meal moths have wings and fly, with bodies ranging from 1/2 to 5/8th of an inch in length. Adult Indian meal moths are most easily identified by a characteristic wing pattern where the rear half of the wings is distinctly reddish brown or bronze colored. Indian meal moths begin their life cycle as eggs laid by females directly on or inside packaging of food products. The eggs hatch into larvae that resemble small, creamy-white caterpillars but that are more worm like with brown heads and bodies that can sometimes be tinged pink or green depending upon what they are feeding upon.

Damage to stored food products is caused by the larvae spinning silken threads as they feed and crawl, thus webbing food particles together. The larvae feed on such food products such as dried fruits, powdered milk, cornmeal, flour, raisins, prunes, nuts, chocolate, bird seed, dry dog and cat food, fish food, graham crackers, pastas, etc. These nuisance pests received their name from pioneering entomologist Asa Fitch who noted in a report published in the mid nineteenth century that larvae infest stores of cornmeal, which was then called Indian meal. Contact us today if you suspect you have an Indian meal moth infestation.

Why do I have them?

The larvae of Indian meal moths are often found in pantries and can infest such as items as flour, grains, cereals, dried fruits, pasta, powdered milk and many other items commonly found stored in homes. They may also be found in dry pet food and stored bird seed. In fact, in most cases they are already present in birdseed when it is brought into the home. Birdseed and pet foods should always be stored in sealed containers and should not remain in the original packaging. It is also important to inspect and remove any infested dried goods at the onset of sighting adult moths.

Are they dangerous?

Adult Indian meal moths do not cause damage other than the contamination of food products. It is the larval or caterpillar stages that are very destructive and can contaminate food products as well as breed in areas where stored products are kept.

How do I get rid of Indian Meal Moths?

Indian meal moths can be difficult to eradicate because of the wide range and food products they are likely to infest. Coupled with the fact that female moths can lay hundreds of eggs within days of emergence and mating, you can have a large infestation of these pests very quickly.  It is essential that a thorough inspection take place to determine the source of the infestation.

Can I do it myself?

Do-It-Yourself methods of Indian meal moth control are not often successful. Over-the-counter products are rarely sufficient to solve a stored product pest infestation. There are no products available to kill the larval or caterpillar stages where they are developing. American Pest professionals are trained to seek out and eradicate Indian meal moths and other stored product pests that are residing in or around your home and property. Oftentimes, this may eliminate the need to use pesticides on the interior of the home.

How soon can you get here?

At American Pest, we pride ourselves on our speed and delivery of service. For that reason we make every effort to be with you the same or very next day.

Is the treatment safe?

We put your health and safety first: every product used by American Pest has been EPA registered for pest control use. We then follow a strict set of guidelines in every application of product to ensure that no harm will come to your family or pets. Furthermore, our state-accredited training and continuing education programs set us above the rest: All of our pest control professionals are registered and licensed by the state or local jurisdictions where we provide service and many have achieved Applicator Certification under the category of Industrial, Institutional, Structural and Heath Related pest management.

How can I prevent this in the future?

Preventing Indian meal moths can be extremely difficult and that is why American Pest professionals will consult with you to provide a customizable solution to your Indian meal moth problem using our S.T.A.R. system of integrated pest management.

 
 

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