Any small moths seen flying around the home (particularly the kitchen), and in large numbers, is probably a grain moth. This category includes Indian Meal Moths, Mediterranean Flour Moths, and others. Grain Moths are often mistaken for Clothes Moths- however adult Clothes moths are rarely seen flying around.
Grain Moth feeding preferences include grain products, dried fruits (especially figs), powdered milk, seeds, nuts, graham crackers, chocolates and candies, bird seed, dried red peppers, dehydrated dog food, etc.
Signs of Grain Moth Infestation
- Clumps in the infested food may be indicative of an Indian Meal Moth infestation. These are formed by groups of larva that are webbed together with strands of silk.
- Small grain moths may be seen flying around kitchens, pantries or other rooms in the home in a zigzag fashion. They fly mostly at night and are attracted to lights.
- Larva (white wormlike pests with brown heads) may occasionally crawl up walls to the ceiling and suspend themselves from a silken thread.
Prevention and Control of Grain Moths
- The best method to avoid stored-product pests is careful sanitation. Pantry shelves should be kept free of crumbs and stickiness.
- If you do locate an infested package, get rid of it immediately! The pantry or infested area can then be cleaned with soapy water, and the cracks and crevices vacuumed.
- Non-infested foods should be frozen if possible to prevent the infestation from spreading.
- When purchasing foods, check the packaging date to ensure freshness.
- Do not purchase food packages that looks to be opened or damaged.
- Utilize several pantry pest traps in and around the infested area.