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How to Control Flour Mothsflour moth adult

Of the many types of pantry pests which can have feasts on your stored food products, perhaps there is none more common than the flour moth. Known originally as the Mediterranean flour moth, this pesky pantry pest is also called the indian flour moth, mill moth, pantry mouth or simply flour moth.

The flour moth first made its way to the United States in 1889 via trading ships and is found basically in every part of the world. Despite the name indicating that the flour moth has originated from the Mediterranean region, it is believed to have come from somewhere in Central America. No matter what region of the world it is originally from, the flour moth can be found in your cereal, oatmeal or other flour and grain-based foods.

Adult male flour moths are about ¼ to ½ and inch long and are usually colored a pale-looking gray. They have short wingspans of less than and inch which look similar to black zig-zag lines on a fuzzy white background. When the flour moth is at rest, it extends its forelegs, raises it head, and makes a sloping appearance with its body.

Most of the damage of flour moths, however, are done in their larvae stage as once the eggs hatch they are one hungry beast and will devour whatever is around them, which is usually flour since eggs are often laid in bags of flour but they can also be present in a variety of other grains and goods.

If you have an infestation of flour moths, there is a way to put an end to their invasion. Here at Solutions Pest and Lawn, we know just how to get rid of these pesky bugs like the flour moth and can help you to clear your pantry of them once and for all with our helpful advice and professional grade products which deliver satisfying results.

Browse our control products for flour moth control below. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us via phone at 800-479-6583, email at askapro@solutionsstores.com or via live chat on our website.

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How to Get Rid of Flour Moths: Solutions 4 Step Process:

Eliminating a flour moth infestation doesn’t have to be difficult. What’s most important is to have the right approach when implementing a control program. We here at Solutions Pest & Lawn recommend a control approach which includes a combination of exclusion measures, applying control products like safe-to-use insecticides and traps as well as discarding all food infested by the offending pest. Check out our 4 step process below to learn how to properly dispose of invading flour moths in your pantry.


Step One:  Flour moth control starts with a careful inspection of any suspicious areas. Identify the source of the infestation and remove the product immediately from your storage area. While you’re at it, clear out your entire pantry and check every item just to be on the safe side. Check the food for signs of the flour moths themselves or flour moth webbing. Any foods that are open and un-infested should be sealed in plastic containers rather than their original packaging.


Step Two:  Once the infested items have been discarded, we suggest conducting a thorough cleaning of pantry and storage shelves. Vacuum and sweep up areas, sucking up larvae and eggs. Completely clean up surfaces using soap and water and spray disinfectant.


Step Three: Once cleaning and sanitation is complete, pesticide treatment should be applied. Apply a residual insecticide spray. An easy to use aerosol like Novacide Flea & Tick Killer or CB PCO Insect Fogger are excellent options then follow up with an Insect Growth Regulator Gentrol Point Source IGR, which is also available in an aerosol spray and has a crack and crevice tip for easy application.

Step Four: Use pheromone specific traps to catch flour moths if you are weary of using pesticides. Dispose of old unwanted food and seal all cracks and crevices with caulk and paint in your pantry to ensure no areas of harborage are available.


Following these steps carefully and being meticulous in your approach will ensure you that your flour moths problem will be a thing of the past. If you want more details in how to get rid of pantry pests, check out our knowledge base for more easy to use step-by-step how-to guides.


More About the Mediterranean Flour Moth

A mediterranean moth infestation can get out of hand pretty fast if there is no kind of intervention to put a stop to them. A single female mediterranean moth can lay between 100 to as much as 700 eggs in a number of different grain and food types. These eggs are small and white and will attach to whatever food material they are laid in. Once the eggs hatch, white or pink larvae emerge with a dark head and dark spots that cover their bodies.


As soon as come into contact with the air, the larvae will commence spinning cocoons in which they will live for a little over a month. During this time, they will being slowly mature into pupae that are reddish-brown in color. After a little less than two weeks, the pupae emerges as an fully grown adult. This whole process, depending the whether the conditions are warm enough, takes between 5 to 7 weeks.


Like other pantry pests, the larvae are more the problem than the actual adult moths. When they are fully grown, they just become annoying more than anything.


Damage That Flour Moths Can Do

The Mediterranean flour moth can be found on a great number of different stored and dried food products such as flour, grain residues (insect-infected grain, broken kernels, and dust), and various whole grains. Although the flour moth is not as serious a pest as the Indian meal moth and some of the grain infesting beetles, they are notorious for clogging machinery with their web craftings, and at times this can get so bad that they cause grain mill shut-downs. More recently, the use of fumigants has greatly reduced the damage created by the Mediterranean flour moth.


“What Can I Do To Prevent Flour Moths From Reinfesting?”

If you’ve followed our flour moth control steps above and successfully eliminated your pantry pest problem, congratulations. But you’re not completely out of the woods yet. You’re going to want to make sure the flour moth and other similar pantry pests like it don’t make a return to your pantry. How do you do this? We’ll give you some helpful tips:


First off, don’t think that just because you newly bought a pantry food item from the store that there is no problem with it. Pantry pest problems can often happen at grocery stores and supermarkets. They may have been infested when they were put up on the store shelves.


There have been times when we have newly purchased an untampered with and unopened food item that was in a cardboard container and inside a sealed bag that had flour moths and similar bugs crawling around in them. If this ever happens to you, you’re going to want to immediately dispose of the item. The longer that those infested items stay in the house, the longer the bugs have to reproduce and begin to infest other items in your pantry. Seal the item in a plastic bag and throw the item outside in a trash container.


Now that you think you’ve gotten rid of that problem, you want to go to all your other food items in your pantry and check ALL of them for any sign of infestation. If you see more infestations, dispose of those items as well. For the ones that are not infested, you’re going to want to store them properly to lessen the chances of infestation. Just because something is in a cardboard box and not opened does not mean that it’s sealed.


This is because pantry pests like the flour moth have an uncanny ability to get bore through thin plastic bags, cardboard and eat their way through plastic to get to the grains they really want. The two best ways to store different foods from pantry pests like the flour moth is to use a sealed airtight plastic tupperware type container or a glass container. These types of materials will be able to sufficiently keep pantry pests from burrowing through and contaminating your food.

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