Thursday, April 23, 2015

Small Moths in the Home by Carol King

Have you noticed small moths flying around your home?  You probably have an infestation of Indian Meal Moth.  This is a very common moth problem in Colorado and is caused by an infestation on grain, grain products, dried fruits, dried vegetables, seeds, nuts, graham crackers, powdered milk and dog food. Control of Indian meal moths requires a thorough search of all dried food, including things like bird seed that can be overlooked. My infestation was from sunflower seeds stored in the garage.

Photo Perdue University Extension
Whitney Crenshaw, CSU Extension Entomologist, offers the following suggestions for control.  “Small, white worms and webbing indicate sources of the problem. Discard infested foods if possible and examine the remaining food to kill any insects that are left. The easiest way to kill Indian meal moths is to place the food package in the freezer for several days. Warming the infested food in an oven or microwave also can kill insect eggs and larvae. Temperatures of 125 to 130 degrees F maintained for three hours should be adequate.
Because of the potential hazard of food contamination, insecticides are not recommended for control of Indian meal moths in houses. After treating or discarding all potential food for the moth, keep everything stored in tight containers, outdoors, or in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. After adult moths are no longer observed, food can be returned to storage areas because the source of the infestation should be eliminated.”

For more information check this CSU Fact sheet: