This is the ninth installment of 15 Household Bugs in SW Florida That May Freak You Out, which can be downloaded from our free eBook library.
One of the creepy bugs you may encounter in your home is the Indian Meal Moth. This moth looks like an ugly brown butterfly, but you may notice other colors on its wings if you get a really close look. If the Indian Meal Moth is not fully mature and is still in its larval stage, it will look like a small white worm with a black head, as pictured below.
This moth isn’t very big – not like some of the ones you may see outside around your porch light. They are usually less than a half inch long, although if their wings are spread open, they will look larger (up to 3/4 of an inch).
The Indian Meal moth likes to eat grains and cereals. However, their appetite is diverse, and they have been known to eat flour, dried fruit, corn meal, bread, rice, and any related foodstuffs.
Unfortunately, these moths are good at getting into sealed containers. Most homeowners will unknowingly bring these moths into their home from the grocery store (although, in some rare cases, the moth may fly into the home). Even tightly sealed containers may have been infected with Indian Meal Moths at the factory they were packaged in.
Here are six preventative steps you can take to avoid bringing Indian meal moths into your home:
- Before you purchase grains, check the package for any broken seals.
- Once home, check inside the box or container right away for any signs of bugs.
- Don’t buy too much in bulk, and store what you do buy in the tightest containers possible. Beware that moths may be able to get into Tupperware.
- Keep foods in the refrigerator or freezer for extra safety.
- If you do find a contaminated package, remove it from your house immediately. Give a good scrubbing to the area you found it in (i.e. your cabinets or shelves).
- Check nearby foods for infestation.
Even though Indian Meal Moths may be creepy, they aren’t likely to overrun your home. Just remember to check your food often, and don’t leave old stockpiles of cereal or other grains around for moths to find.
To learn how to prevent or get rid of 14 other common household bugs in Southwest Florida, download our free eBook by clicking the icon to your right. But if you’ve tried your best and they just won’t go away, call a Fort Myers pest control company with more than 30 years of experience in dealing with these critters! Call (800) 314-8813 or simply request a free inspection. We’ll help you get these moths out of your pantry and food supply.