#1 Pest controllers in Sydney

Pantry Moths

Pantry Moths

Has your home recently been overrun by tiny grey moths, flapping erratically around your kitchen? Spotted some suspicious webs in a cereal box? You might be sharing your dried food with pantry moths

Like other moths, pantry moths have four distinct life stages: egg, caterpillar, pupae and adult.

The first sign of a pantry moth infestation is often the sight of adult moths flying in an erratic, zig-zag path around our kitchens.

Although they can be annoying, adult moths do not feed at all. The trouble arises when female moths lay their eggs in or around our food. The tiny eggs hatch into barely visible cream-coloured caterpillars small enough to crawl into poorly sealed food containers. There, they begin to feed.

As they grow, caterpillars produce large amounts of silk webbing and faeces, both of which can contaminate food.

Once a caterpillar reaches its full size, it leaves the food in search of a safe space to make a cocoon, usually a crack, container lid, crevice or corner. Sometimes they turn up in the hinges of a pantry door.

A few weeks later, an adult moth emerges from the cocoon, ready to start the cycle again.

Unfortunately, it’s likely you brought them home yourself. Although pantry moths can enter via doors and windows, most infestations probably start when we inadvertently bring home eggs and caterpillars in our dried foods.

Kitchens full of unsealed containers and spilled food create an irresistible smorgasbord for female moths looking for the ideal place to lay eggs.

Like many insects, pantry moths develop more quickly at warmer temperatures.

How to get rid of

Pantry Moths

First, eliminate their sources of food. Dry goods should be stored in sealed, airtight containers with tight-fitting lids.

To prevent eggs and caterpillars from hitchhiking in on purchases, place dried foods in the freezer for three to four days; this should kill any eggs and caterpillars that may be present.

If you already have an infestation, carefully inspect all potential food sources including spices, cereals, grains, dry pet foods, pasta, seeds, nuts, tea, dried flowers and dried fruit.

Pantry moth caterpillars are hard to see; look for the silken webbing they produce, which can cause food grains to clump together. These webbed clumps are often more conspicuous than the caterpillars themselves.

Infested foods should either be discarded or placed in the freezer for three to four days to kill eggs and caterpillars.

Clean up and discard any spilled foods on shelves, under toasters or behind storage containers. Even small amounts of food can support thriving caterpillar populations.

Caterpillars can travel considerable distances to find a safe place to make a cocoon, so make sure to check shelves, walls, crevices and ceilings. Moth cocoons can be removed by wiping with a damp cloth or with a vacuum cleaner.

Cleaning and proper food storage are the best ways to end a pantry moth outbreak. Sticky pantry moth traps are commercially available and can be used to monitor and reduce the moth population.

Pantry moth traps — triangular cardboard covered with a thick sticky glue — are baited with a chemical that mimics the smell of a female pantry moth.

Males are attracted to the trap and become hopelessly stuck to the glue. Since sticky traps only target males, traps are unlikely to stop an outbreak on their own; always use them with proper food storage and careful cleaning.

Call us today for a chat 1300 262 966 (1300 AMAZON) and speak with one of our friendly team members who can answer any questions you may have, give you a free quote and arrange a Fruit Fly Solution suited to your situation..

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