About Moths

By the time you notice moths in your home, they have usually already found something they like to eat. Fortunately, their feeding choices are rather limited, and you can usually find where they are feeding rather quickly.  Moths that are found in the home are generally one of two basic kinds; either a food-eating moth or a fabric-eating moth. A food-eating moth, which is the most common, will most likely be found in your pantry. A fabric-eating moth will most likely be found in your closet.  Food-eating moths come in a variety of types, but are usually frequenting your pantry or kitchen cabinets, pet food, or garbage can. They especially like to eat grains, cereals, flour, pastas, powdered milk, bird seed, and other similar foods. These foods are less likely to attract moths if they are stored in air-tight containers.

Moth eggs are laid in or near these foods. The eggs will develop into larvae, which will start eating the food. In their immature stages, you are unlikely to see them because they will be close to the same color as the food they are in.

Moths Common to Your New Jersey or Pennsylvania Home

Indian Meal Moth:  is also sometimes referred to as the North American High-Flyer. It is also the most destructive. The larvae are often referred to as “waxworms.” These moths are also known as flour moths or pantry moths. A female Indian Meal Moth can lay up to 300 eggs at one time. As adults, they grow to be about half an inch long.

Fabric Moths:  include species like the Webbing Moth and the Casemaking Moth. Both of these moths are only about one fourth of an inch long, and do not like to be seen, and rarely are. Generally, the only way you will know that these moths are present is when you see holes in your fabric.

 Controlling Moths

You can prevent indian meal moth infestations by thoroughly inspecting food at the store before you bring it home.  If an infestation has already set in you must find the infested foods and discard outside.  Thoroughly clean the food storage area to ensure all moths and larvae are removed.

If you discover clothes moths by finding holes in woolen clothes or bedding around a home they should be laundered or dry cleaned and stored in plastic air tight containers.  Large areas rugs should be treated by a pest management professional.