How to Deal with Pantry Moths

The Indian Meal Moth, Plodia interpunctella, is a common pest in stored grain, cereal, dried fruit, flours, pet food, as well as bird seed. If you find moths or moth larvae in your bird food do not worry. It does not mean that the bird food is bad or unsafe for the birds. In fact your birds will enjoy the extra protein!


Indian Meal Moth Facts

  • They are not a native moth species of North America
  • They are a different species than the Clothes Moths
  • Adult moths fly in a zigzag pattern, instead of direct flight
  • Damage isPantry Pest Trap done by the larval form when they feed on bird food and form webs
  • Moths develop best at temperatures above 65° F (18°C)


How to Prevent Meal Moth Infestation

  • Store bird food in a container with a tight-fitting lid
  • Store bird food in a cool, dry place (less than 18°C or 65° F)
  • Don't store bird food in your food pantry
  • Buy less bird food more often (every 2-4 weeks)
  • Store surplus bird food in a freezer
  • Check on bird food regularly for larvae and/or webbing


How to Get Rid of Meal Moths

  • Remove infested food and place in a sub-zero freezer for a minimum 72 hours to kill moths and larvae
  • Vacuum any remaining larvae or webbing from infested cupboard or room
  • Set out pheromone pantry pest traps to eliminate adult moths