Pantry moths are pests that infest stored food products in homes, grocery markets, animal feed stores, and warehouses. The pests attack grains, cereals, pet food, and nuts.
The damage is caused by the moth's larvae which spin silken threads as they feed on the food and move.
Adult pantry moths are light grey with wings that have a reddish-brown tint on their outer forewing. Their larvae are a dull white color with brown heads.
The Adult female deposits up to 300 eggs on or near food sources. The eggs hatch in two weeks and larvae emerge to feed. Foods are infested with silken threads spun by the larvae as they move.
The worm-like pests continue to feed for two weeks before the pupae stage begins. Cocoons are spun in cracks and crevices of cabinets or pantry walls where food is stored.
Adults emerge from the cocoon within a month and the life cycle for future generations begins again.
The easiest way to avoid a pantry moth infestation is by inspecting all packaged goods that you are planning to purchase at the market beforehand.
Look for small holes and cocoon webbing in the package.
Store pre-packaged foods in tightly sealed containers and wipe down pantry shelves with vinegar. The vinegar discourages the moths from depositing eggs in food areas.
If an infestation is found, it is better to toss the food items to eliminate the possibility of a major infestation.
Keep your kitchen free from spills on counters and floors by cleaning up as they happen.
If the infestation is outside in pet or livestock feeding areas, introduce trichogramma wasps, a beneficial predator that attacks the moth's eggs and destroys them.