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Is It Dangerous To Have Pantry Moths In My Worcester Cupboards?

An image of a pantry moth

Pantry moths, also known as Indian meal moths, are pests that no Worcester homeowner wants to discover. These nocturnal pests forage for food at night, devouring flour, grain products, nuts, dried fruit, and more — even pet food. Like many other insects, pantry moths are drawn to light. In many instances, the allure of lights draw them into your Worcester home. Once they’ve become attracted to your porch light, the lights inside your home may draw them further inside.

The average pantry moth is 1/2 an inch in length, with adults having a wingspan anywhere from 5/8 to 3/4 an inch. Pantry moths run through three life stages: egg, larva, and pupa, with the entire life cycle lasting about four weeks. A pantry moth can infest your food in any stage of their lives. Most notably, larvae contaminate food by spinning silk as they feed. Pantry moths can also spoil your food with feces, also known as "frass." Aside from excrement and silk, however, the mere presence of pantry moths in your food can contaminate it. What’s more, female pantry moths can lay hundreds of eggs in food materials throughout their short lives. This means hundreds of larvae writhing in your food. For this reason, it is no wonder why pantry moths are such a nuisance to homeowners. 

Signs Of An Infestation 

A pantry moth infestation is particularly odious, as these pests primarily target your food. This may be the case for other pests, but few pests infest your food with as much success as pantry moths. There are a few obvious signs of a pantry moth infestation. These signs include the following:

  • Small frass or feces in your food
  • Silk in your food resembling spider webs
  • The presence of larvae
  • Gray moths circling around light sources in and outside your home
  • An unpleasant odor, especially around grain products

How To Prevent A Pantry Moth Infestation

Once you identify the presence of pantry moths in your Worcester home, you should first call for professional assistance. With the help of the pros, you can develop habits that will prevent future infestations. Steps to prevent pantry moth infestations include the following:

  • Make sure to get rid of expired food products. Also implement a "first in, first out" system, using up older food products, outside of expired food, before opening newer ones. 
  • If you purchase items in bulk, you should transfer them to airtight containers. Pantry moths can gain easy access to just about any food packaging. 
  • Clean your countertop, making sure crumbs aren’t spread throughout corners. Pay special attention to grain products like cereal. Clean up any flour or sugar that may be on your countertops. 
  • When they’re not infesting your food, pantry moths may lurk inside your cupboards. Your cupboards should be vacuumed and cleaned thoroughly, using soap and water. All infested food must be thrown away, including any boxes. 
  • Pantry moths may inadvertently travel to your home from the grocery store. Pantry moths are notorious for invading grocery stores to contaminate food products. Make sure to thoroughly check all food products before placing them in your cupboards. Again, you should pay special attention to the food products pantry moths enjoy the most. 

If You Live In Worcester, Call Big Blue Bug Solutions! 

Pantry moths not only invade your home, contaminating your food and mortifying you in front of your guests. After they enter your cereal boxes, they leave behind silk and feces. If you’re suffering from a pantry moth infestation, we encourage you to seek professional pest assistance. Reach out to us at Big Blue Bug Solutions; our residential control program consists of three preventive visits each year. Once we remove pests from your home, we ensure they stay out. Please give Big Blue Bug Solutions a call.