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Home >> Departments/Offices >> Cooperative Extension >> Pest of the Month >> November



Indian Meal Moths are small grey-brown moths flying around, usually in pantry areas. These moths did not just happen to fly inside, but rather the larvae are eating stored products in the pantry. The larvae is a white worm with a brown head and is a little under a half inch long. These pests can occur any time of year and were probably brought into the home in products brought home from the store.

If left unchecked, you will soon have more moths than you'd like. To control this pest, you need to find the food source. The larvae will be found in items such as corn meal, oatmeal, spices, cake mixes, granola and even old chocolate. Don't discount unopened pantry products. The larvae can wiggly their way inside and eat through the plastic wrapper to get to the food. Look for webbing inside the packaging. This is a sign the insect is there. Check dog and cat food as well as birdseed.

Once you discard the food source, the infestation will decrease significantly. Vacuum the cracks and crevices of the storage place as larvae and pupa may be found there. If wanted, you can use an insecticide such as malathion in the storage area. Read the pesticide label first and apply exactly as labeled. You can purchase a bait station at local pesticide stores. The bait station is a sticky trap that has a pheromone that attracts the males. You can leave a trap up all the time to trap any leftover adults.