Pantry Moth Control and Pantry Moth Extermination

Pest Control
By Kaldari (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Pantry moths have earned their name because they feed off of foods you typically store in your pantry. Things such as cereals, grains, dried animal food, and occasionally candies attract them to the area. Females will lay their eggs on, or very near to, the food sources so that the larvae have easier access. The larvae of the Pantry Moth are capable of chewing through the thin cardboard and plastic bags that these products often come in. This means that even if something is unopened by you, the Pantry Moth larvae may already be inside.

The best way to prevent Pantry Moths is to keep all food in airtight plastic or glass containers. If there is a way to move it into a refrigerator this would also prevent Pantry Moths from accessing it. While you may think that Ziploc baggies are a safe bet, this may not be true as larvae can also chew through these as well. If you notice any spills or leaks in the area, it is best to clean it up immediately as Pantry Moths love the easy access of foods. It is also important to check for cocoons, which can typically be found under shelf paper or near paper products, as many people keep those in pantry’s as well.

You can identify if foods have been infected or not by checking for webbing, it can look like clumps within the food. You can also inspect boxes to see if there are any noticeable holes on it from where the larvae have chewed their way through. It is important to check all food as larvae can travel into different containers and continue spreading. Remove all infected food and make sure it is thrown away outside where the adult moths and larvae cannot get to them again. It is best to then remove all food from the pantry and vacuum out any crumbs as well as go over the area with warm water and soap or a disinfectant. To catch male moths you can set out pheromone traps or just sticky traps. You can also use these to help monitor the status of the population.