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Pantry Moth Facts


Pantry moth, Indian meal moth,flour moth  If you are reading this, it is likely because your kitchen and peace of mind have been invaded with a tiny flying nemesis known as the Pantry Moth. By the time you have noticed them, chances are this "grain moth" has already set up shop in your pantry and in your food. If you see one, there are plenty more that you haven’t seen. The good news is that they aren’t poisonous or disease-ridden. Finding worms in food can be a traumatic experience.  Gross as it is, though, if you have accidentally eaten one, it won’t hurt you. The bad news, however, is that they are notoriously difficult to get rid of. Pantry bugs are a tenacious nemesis.


Pantry moth larvaeOften called the "flour moth", "grain moth", or "meal moth" the Indian Meal Moth is light brown in color and usually about 8-10 mm in length. They lay eggs and spin silky webs and cocoons where the larvae (or worms) spend some time until they hatch. The entire life cycle of this species may take from 30 to 300 days. Female moths lay between 60 and 400 eggs on a food surface. The eggs hatch in 2 to 14 days. the larvae stage lasts from 2 to 41 weeks, depending on the temperature. They are more active in the summer, so spring and summer are the best times to use Pantry Moth Spray, or year-round in warmer climates.


Pantry Moths in flour & grains The pantry moth is actually very common. It is likely that the eggs were already in something you bought and have stored long enough for the eggs to mature and then you have moths in flour, moths in kitchen, and moths in food! There is almost no way to completely avoid buying grains and food products that contain them, but obviously if you see pantry moths flying around your favorite grocery store, you might want to shop someplace else for awhile. Items you buy in the "bulk" section are somewhat higher risk, and organic foods are more likely to contain them as they are not usually bleached and sprayed with chemicals. Pet food and bird seed are also likely culprits as well. There are few organic insect control products on the market to serve as a natural moth repellent, but nature has provided us with the best way to get rid of pantry moths.  Aunt Normas Pantry Moth Spray contains a natural pesticide specifically developed to handle a moth infestation.

                  WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Pantry Moths in grains Pantry moth control relies on taking the proper steps to get rid of pantry moths as early as possible. One of the first signs of an infestation can be finding worms in food, which is why they are sometimes referred to as a "food moth". 

The Pantry moth larvae can infest a wide range of dry foodstuffs such as flour, cereal, bread, pasta, rice, spices or dried fruits and nuts. Honestly, though, these things can literally worm their way into just about anything. They have been found in such strange places as in a bottle of Pepto Bismol and at the bottom of drink mix containers. Meal moths can also seemingly get through glass and plastic containers, although often this is because the food inside already contained eggs which later hatched. They really can crawl into even the tightest surfaces, and any container with a screw top can allow them to crawl up the ridges and into the food inside, and you end up with pantry moths and or worms in your food. They can also eat through plastic bags and cardboard boxes. So once you have seen them, no food in your pantry can be assumed safe. They only need a miniscule spec or crumb of food to survive on.


 pantry moth cocoonsThe worms also find other non-food sources for which pupate, like crevices in the wood, or the underside of canned goods and the inside of container lids. Look for not only the adult moths, but also any silky webbing, food particles clumped together, or little "dust balls" that are actually cocoons waiting to hatch. Once they start reproducing, they can then travel to other areas of the home and start the whole process all over again.

If you have moths in the pantry, it is essential to utilize some means of organic insect control to control the problem.  Most non-toxic bug repellents are meant for gardens and houseplants, and none are specifically formulated to get rid of Pantry Moths. Aunt Norma's Pantry Moth Spray is an essential-oil based bug repellent that was created to be a natural moth repellent that you can safely use around food, children and most pets without worrying about the chemical effects of traditional pest control products. 

*Aunt Norma's non-toxic bug spray is NOT recommended for use around birds as it can harm their delicate respiratory systems.