Moths

Species Identification

Allpro typically recieves calls on 2 different moths, the Indian Meal Moth and Clothes Moths (Casemaking and Webbing Clothes Moths).

Indian Meal Moths

Indian Meal Moths are 3/8 to 1/2-inch long with wings folded over the back. Wings are two-toned, with the bases a pale gray and the ends reddish brown or copper. Larva are dirty white with brown heads. They grow to about 1/2-inch long and may become yellowish, pinkish, brownish or greenish.

Indian meal moths are often mistaken for clothes moths when they are detected flying around in the home. The clothes moth does not have two-toned wings. Their wings are uniformly gray. Another stored grain infesting larva species, the Angoumois grain moth, infests seeds of corn, wheat, oats, sorghum, barley and other crops. Adult moths are small, all yellow moths with a 3/5 inch wingspan. Egg-laying females infested seeds either while crops are in the field or in storage. Larvae tunnel into seeds, feeding on the germ and endosperm, and form silk tubes in which they pupate. Their life cycle is completed in about 5 weeks and up to six generations can occur annually. Other major stored grain pests are rice weevils, and granary weevils.

Indain Meal Moths are often found flying in kitchens and other rooms of the house, being a nuisance to occupants; appearance of moths is an indication of a breeding population of larva in some type of stored food.

Casemaking Clothes Moths

The Casemaking clothes moth, is a buff gray color and approximately 1/4-inch long with its wings folded along the body. Each front wing has three somewhat indistinct darker spots of scales.

The larva is creamy white with a brown head. It produces a silken tube-like case in which it lives and carries around for protection. The head and legs are exposed only during feeding and movement. This case is camouflaged with bits of the material on which the larva has been feeding. The larva is approximately 1/2-inch long at maturity.

Development from egg to adult is highly variable, depending upon available food and environmental conditions. It may be as little as a month.

Webbing Clothes Moths

The webbing clothes moth is a uniform buff color, approximately 1/4-inch long. It has a small tuft of red hair on the top of its head.

The larva is whitish colored with a brown head. It produces a silk-lined "tunnel" as it eats through or on the surface of a fabric. The moth is approximately 1/2-inch long at maturity. Its developmental time is very similar to that of the casemaking clothes moth.

 


Risk Management

Night-active female moths lay eggs, singly or in clusters, on suitable larval food. Larvas hatch from eggs and produce silken tunnels for protection while feeding. Larval development varies in length with temperature and type of food material. Just before pupating, larvae leave the food source. Larvas can be found crawling on walls and ceilings searching for a place to spin a cocoon. Development from egg to adult takes from 27 to 305 days, and 7 or 8 generations can occur in a year.

Indian Meal Moth Larva have chewing mouth parts. Adults have siphoning mouths and will feed in flour (including whole wheat and cornmeal or Indian meal)., shelled corn and other broken stored grains, dried fruit, seeds, crackers, biscuits, nuts, powdered milk, chocolate, candy, red peppers, and dog food. A common food source is bird seed. Because it is not treated for human consumption the moth larva is often imported into homes with the feed. Larva produce a loose silken mat on top surface of infested food material.

Clothes moths larva (caterpillar) stage damages items of animal origin, such as wool, fur, silk and feathers. The adult moths do not feed. They are rarely seen because they tend to hide in the dark during daylight.

 


Treatment

For Indian Meal Moths our treatment usually applies to kitchen cupboards and surrounding areas. A full IPM (integrated pest management) approach is always established prior to treatment. Our technicians are here to help whether it be for a commercial or residential application, we offer a discreet and quick solution to your pest issues.

For Clothes Moths our treatment plans usually apply to closets and surrounding areas. Preparation is intense and extremely important when dealing with Clothes Moths. A full IPM approach is always established prior to treatment.

 

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