Indian Meal moths
I have so many stories of indian meal moths over the years. It is hard to pick ones story to tell. It was my first year as a pest technician and I had two customers that were sisters. They lived next door to each other in Clovis, CA . Both of them kept getting indian meal moths in their pantry. We went through the necessary steps to get rid of them.
We want to eliminate all the contaminated food. It’s amazing how expensive a few insects can be. Their is a few steps in eliminating food. We started throwing away the obviously contaminated packages. Then It get a little harder because they can hide in the flap of cardboard boxes. They can hide in the seal of jars and behind the paper labels on the can.
There are two thoughts when you are not sure if a food has been contaminated. First when in doubt, throw it out. Second, when in doubt, freeze it for three to seven days.
After the food has been sorted, comes phase two. Clear all the items out of the cabinet or pantry to be treated. Once everything is out we can treat the area. Honestly it is a very quick process that just takes a few minutes to spray the pantry.
A lot of people skip right to the last step. Set a trap for indean meal moths.
This is where a lot of homes have made the problem worse, since we are skipping to the last step and we can just get a bunch of moth traps. No, absolutely no.
One trap lures them in and catches them. Multiple traps confuse them and they can’t easily find the midpoint where the pheromone is coming from. Multiple traps will also spread the issue around the house. We want to place a trap at ground zero and pull them back to the infested area, NOT lure them to the four corners of the house.
Repeat steps one through four till the problem is gone.
Going back to the story of the sisters. We went through this entire process a few times but the indian meal moths kept coming back. We would see improvement and then bang, the pantry was infested. After about six months I overheard them sharing pantry supplies for baking and making dinner. They constantly used each other’s pantry for items they had run out. What they did not understand was that they were sharing the pantry pest. I would get it under control and they would bring an item in and it would slowly build. It was a back and forth experience. We finally just said. No sharing any ingredients for six months. We started on step one and as long as I was their tech the indian meal moths never returned.
It’s amazing how even if we follow all the steps, if we don’t find the source of the indeab meal moth infestation it will all come back very quickly.
I hope this helps, always feel free to reach out to us with any questions.