Do you ever get little moths flying around your home – usually around the kitchen or garage?
Chances are, you have Indian Meal Moths. Indian Meal Moths (I.M. Moths) are smallish moths with a broad grayish band across the bronzy appearing wings. They won’t eat your clothes. They are food pests. They feed on grains and grain products, like dried fruits, cereal, spaghetti, seeds – especially bird seed and dog food.
They prefer grains that have been processed and stored for awhile.
The female I.M. Moth lays 200-400 eggs. When the eggs hatch, the larvae disperse. Within a few hours, the larvae attach themselves to cabinets and walls by spinning cocoons in the vicinity of where the food is. The length of the larval period is wide-ranging, from 13 to about 300 days, depending on food availability and temperatures.
When the larvae hatches out, the adults (moths) appear and that is when most people find them.
When we treat for them, we usually use a residual spray to kill the larvae and adults, plus a fog and a growth regulator. We also set out pheromone traps to attract and control them.
BIG TIP! Most people get I.M. Moths by buying 5# + quantities of bird seed. This seed sometimes has I.M. Moth eggs in it when you purchase it and they hatch out after you bring it home. Most people store their bird seed in the garage (which is usually close to the kitchen). That is why you see them a lot around the garages and kitchens. The best thing to do is to freeze the bird seed for 2-3 weeks before you start using it. That will freeze the eggs so that they won’t hatch out. Your birds won’t mind the extra protein . I you find them in food grains like corn meal, cereal, spaghetti, etc, you can do the same thing. Just freeze it. If you don’t stop the cycle, the I.M. Moths will continue to reproduce and lay more eggs, resulting in more adult moths, etc, etc.
Give me a call if you need any more info about these pesty little moths.