How to control pantry moths
Maybe you go into the pantry to grab some flour and you notice some strange webbing on the surface of the flour or maybe even a grub? Only then do remember seeing those small moths flying around the house. You’ve got pantry moths! Losing the occasional packet of flour or cereal can be annoying, but if you don’t get on top of the problem, you could be facing an ongoing battle. However, with good preventative measures and an appropriate pantry moth treatment, you can get rid of pantry moths.
PANTRY MOTH IDENTIFICATION
WHAT DO PANTRY MOTHS LOOK LIKE?
- Pantry moth eggs are small, round white eggs, about 0.5mm in diameter. Up to 400 eggs will be laid on the surface of a suitable food.
- The larvae or caterpillars are cream coloured with a dark head. They can grow up to 2cm long. They often leave they feeding site and climb to a higher location to pupate.
- The pupa are cream covered wrapped in webbing. They can often be seen higher up in cupboards or on the ceiling cornices of rooms.
- The adults are just over 1cm long and a light grey colour with the tip half of their wings a bronze colour.
SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION
- Webbing may be seen on the surface of foods or food packaging. This hides the feeding larvae underneath.
- “Tracks” may be seen in containers where the larvae have been feeding.
- Adult moths can be observed flying at dusk or at night around the house, especially the kitchen area.
MAIN PEST SEASON
Pantry moths will be active during the warmer months.
PANTRY MOTHPANTRY MOTH LARVAE "TRACKS" IN FLOUR JAR
PANTRY MOTH FACTS
- Pantry moths are found throughout New Zealand.
- Pantry moth larvae, will eat a wide range of vegetable foods, with a preference for dried cereal products such as rice, pasta, biscuits, breakfast cereals and bread, but will also eat dried fruit, spices, cocoa and nuts.
- Smaller larvae are able to crawl around the grooves of a closed screw lid (if not screwed on tightly).
- The larger larvae are able to bite through plastic packets.
PANTRY MOTH PREVENTION TIPS
- Ensure all food stuffs are stored in tightly sealed, plastic / metal / glass containers (not plastic bags).
- Clean up any spills in the pantry.
- Carry out regular pantry clean ups (suggest once a month) to clean up any spills, check containers for signs of pests and throw out any old food.
PANTRY MOTH CONTROL TIPS
- Carrying out the prevention measures are the key actions to control pantry moths.
- Any moths flying around the house can be sprayed with a flying insect aerosol.
- The inside edges and corners of food storage areas can be sprayed with a suitable insecticide as long as there is no direct contact with food.
PESTXPERT PANTRY MOTH PRODUCTS
- Pro-Spray Flying aerosol is great to have on hand to spray any moths seen flying around the house.
- Pro-Spray Flying or Pro-Spray Crawling can be used to treat the inside of food storage areas. Make sure all food containers are removed before spraying and that the treatment is dry before re-stocking. Ensure there is no direct contact between the treated surfaces and food.