Meal Moth Control
Their scientific name is Indian Meal Moth but you may see them called Grain Moth, Flour Moth or Meal Moth.
You pay too much for your groceries to have pests take over and ruin your food. I’m going to help you keep them out to begin with and also tell you how to get rid of them if you already have an infestation.
It took me a while to realize what I had and how they got in. When you find them in your staples they appear to be little white worm looking creatures with webbing. Yes, it is disgusting.
The only thing you can do if they have made their home in your food is to throw it out. There are eggs and larvae you can’t even see so trying to save any of it is useless.
What to do if you find them in your food
Throw away every food item with infestation and clean the cupboards out with a disinfectant solution. You will find residue and even larvae in the dark corners of your storage area; make sure you clean all these areas thoroughly.
Clean all areas including behind appliances. When moths fly into your home they lay eggs near a source of food so it’s important to get all areas to remove any eggs. After the eggs hatch the larvae, which are caterpillar looking bugs will eat through containers to get to a food source where they weave a spider web looking mess.
They love old boxes or bags of food you’ve forgotten in the back of your cupboard where they can feed and grow undisturbed.
How to keep them out of your cupboards
First we must understand the nature of the beast and what kind of habitat they prefer.
What do they eat?
They eat dry foods like cereals, cake mixes, pasta, dried fruit, nuts, cornmeal, flour, crackers, dry pet food, bird seed and spices. I've even read they will eat dried flowers.
How do they get in?
Some fly in through your front door when you are coming and going. These are small moths that are a gray or brownish color depending on where you live. They appear harmless but can ruin hundreds of dollars of food in a matter of days.
Some come in your food you brought home from the grocery store. It’s not always the market’s fault sometimes they get a bad shipment from a supplier. Infestation can happen anywhere.
They don’t like low places
Unlike Garth Brooks, these bugs dislike low places. It may be due to predators in the wild that eat their young, I’m not sure I just know that storing your staples down low are safer from infestation. Consider putting your pans and canned goods on the higher shelves and your bagged and boxed foods on the lower ones.
This tree has natural oils in it that deters pests. Cedar has a nice aroma and unless you are allergic won’t harm you or your groceries.
Put some cedar chips in a clean old stocking and place on the shelf. This also works in your closets to keep their cousins, the Wool Moth or Webbing Clothes Moth, away.
Do not use mothballs around food. This is a poison and the aroma can permeate into your pantry giving a horrible taste and smell as well as being hazardous, you don’t want that.
Glass or plastic airtight containers
I don’t like to use insecticides around my food so finding ways to keep them out is much better in my opinion.
Baking ingredients, cereal or any other edible items should be taken out of the original cardboard or bag packaging and put in sealed canisters. This will keep moths as well as other insects from getting in. They love cardboard and bags, they can eat right through these without any problem and will then lay eggs that later make a terrible mess in your food.
Any food should immediately be put in an airtight container or the freezer upon entering the house.
If you have one, these are wonderful for keeping groceries safe from pests of any kind as well as lengthening the shelf life. Extra pasta, baking supplies or chips will keep much longer without worry of infestation.