The meal moth, or the Indian meal moth, is often confused for the clothes moth but is in fact very different. For one, their wing colours are not two-toned like the clothes moth, nor do they eat the same materials. For another, meal moth wings are two-toned, with the bases being a pale grey and the ends a copper or reddish brown colour. The clothes moth’s wings are straight up grey coloured, no two tones or tones whatsoever.
Meal moths are one of the most invasive and troubling pantry pests in Canada next to flour and grain beetles. That’s because the meal moth’s diet consists of our food too! To be more specific, here is what the meal moth tends to feed on: whole grains, dried fruits, bird seed, pet food, dried milk and nuts, and all cereal products. Bird seed is one of their favourites.
Meal moth larva can often be brought into homes with bird seed since it’s not treated for human consumption. Larva tend to produce a loose matted silk on top of the infected material’s surface, and they can even find their way into packaged cereals and grains. They can do that because they have the ability to chew their way through soft plastic and cardboard!
What makes meal moths so difficult to remove from the home is they are frequent movers. Just because you see one in your kitchen now doesn’t mean they’ll stick with the one pantry. Just because you saw one, and then don’t see them, doesn’t mean there’s no longer an infestation.
Their appearance is a big indication that there is a stored food somewhere in your home where they are breeding and repopulating (some ‘tasty’ food for thought). Preventing them by keeping the pantry clean and devoid of crumbs is a good start, and so is storing your cereals and grains in hard plastic. However, if you’ve spotted even one hanging out in your kitchen or other indoor areas in your home, it means that something somewhere has been infected and needs to be removed at once. Give your local Pest Boss a call if you spot one. We can exterminate the meal moths and you can be rid of this terror to kitchens and pantries everywhere. We’ll get you, varmints!