You probably bring these creatures in to your home yourself, in the packaging of dry groceries as eggs or caterpillars.
Once you see one of these moths in your cupboards, you can be sure there are many more about to break free of their cocoon. Pantry Moths are particularly difficult to eradicate if you don’t do a complete overhaul and clean-out of your pantry to eliminate all life cycle stages at the one time.
Pantry moths have 4 stages in their life cycle:
- eggs (2 days to 2 weeks).
- larvae (caterpillar) last 6 – 7 weeks depending on temperature.
- cocoon (pupal stage) 2 – 3 weeks.
- adult moths live for 1- 2 weeks; 8-10mm in length with 16-20mm wingspan.
The moth larvae are often mistaken for weevils. They feed on pasta, flour, breakfast cereal, rice, nuts, bread, even chocolate and other dry goods. The mouthparts of older caterpillars are strong enough to chew through plastic packaging so even sealed packets are no match. Virtually any product derived from a grain needs to be stored in an airtight container with a secure and unbroken seal.
With a pantry moth infestation, you’ll notice white caterpillars and cocoons in food containers or packaging and web-like caterpillar silk hanging from the underside of bags or container lids.
Pantry Moth Traps are commercially available using female pheromones to attract male moths, but they leave females free to lay more eggs and they can lay up to 400 during their short life. Our experts can help you with a viable solution to any pantry moth problems.
How to get rid of Pantry Moths? The best way to rid your cupboards of these pests is a full-blown attack:
- Empty your pantry completely and throw away any affected or suspect dry foods in an outside bin.
- Vacuum the pantry with a nozzle ensuring you reach all cracks and crevices where larvae can hide.
- Scrub surfaces with hot, soapy water as well as all your food containers.
- Ensure all products derived from a grain are stored in securely sealed airtight containers.
- Place replacement dry food packets in freezer for a minimum of one week to kill eggs.