Have you ever opened your pantry and thought you saw something move? Have you moved a box or can and been startled as a little moth takes flight? Pantry moths are prevalent throughout the world, and they do not discriminate regarding whose food supply they will forage on. Here are some things you should know about these winged scavengers.
1. They are also called Indian Meal Moths. They became known as pantry moths because of their affinity for invading the food people store in their pantry.
2. They come in a variety of colors. Pantry moths are small winged insects and can have grey, brown or tan coloring. They are most commonly found indoors, hiding out where packages of food are stored in places like a cupboard or pantry. Their coloring can help them blend into the color of the shelves or the color of the packaging they are infesting.
3. Environmental factors play a huge role in determining their life cycle. The life cycle of a pantry moth can be anywhere from a month to almost a full year. Their life cycle is greatly accelerated in places with high temperatures and humidity. In places where it is colder, the infestation will take longer to develop, and the insects will actually live longer.
4. They reproduce exponentially. A pantry moth can lay up to 400 eggs before it dies. Each of those eggs can become a viable larvae and become a full grown moth capable of laying the same amount of eggs. The eggs typically hatch in just a week’s time, and it only takes about 20 days for a moth to become full grown. At this rate it doesn’t take long for a couple of stray moths to turn into a serious infestation.
5. They are attracted to a lot of different types of food. Unfortunately, you cannot keep pantry moths at bay by simply making sure you keep one type of food out of your pantry. They are attracted to grains, breads, pasta, spices, cereal and dried or processed snacks of varying types. They have a very acute sense of smell, and once they make it into your home, it will not take them long to find your food.
6. They are hard to keep out of your food. Pantry moth larvae have been known to chew through cardboard boxes, bags and other types of packaging and will stop at nothing to get to the food they crave.
Often a moth’s eggs will be laid right in the food you are storing, causing it to spoil. If you discover an infestation of pantry moths, do not delay your call to Optimum Pest Control. Time is definitely of the essence when it comes to eliminating these pesky scavengers.