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Recycle A to Z

alternatives to pesticides - bugs/pests - Indian meal moths

                            indian meal moth
                          Actual size: Wingspan 5/8”

Indian meal moth larvae are generally brought home in purchased food such as cereal, flour, oatmeal, trail mix, etc. The larvae may stay in the food, feeding on it all year. When it emerges, it seeks out the warmest place, which, in your house, is the ceiling. If you miss seeing them in their pupae stage, you probably won’t miss the adult moth fluttering around in your house.

Prevention
Contain Food - Never leave opened packages of food in your pantry. Food should always be stored in sealed containers. If you have a problem with a particular dry good, store it in the freezer. This also kills the eggs in food that is already infested. Freezing newly purchased packages for 24-48 hours will usually destroy all eggs.

Physical control
Examine Food - The best solution is to check your dry goods and find the container where the moth has laid her eggs and larvae have hatched. As the larvae feed, they make webs that look like spider web strands tangled up in the infested food. Put the infested food in a sealed paper bag and dispose of it.

Least Toxic Chemical Control
Pheromone - Pheromone traps for catching Indian meal moth adults are available commercially.  Pheromone is a chemical substance produced by insects and animals that stimulates certain behavior of other members of the same species. Traps use female pheromones to attract males and prevent reproduction.

 

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