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“HELP HELP! I have hundreds of maggots!!! “ this is typical caller with pantry moth!?!?!?. They are seeing tens or hundreds of maggots on the kitchen ceiling one morning. The caller assumes that the maggots are coming from a hidden dead animal, but are perplexed as there is no “bad smell”.

 

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Pantry moth or the Indian meal moth is small moth that feeds on grains and cereal in your pantry. Treatment of the pantry moth is expensive on account of the food you sometimes have to discard in an attempt to get rid of them.

 

Preamble

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The pantry moth has four parts to its life cycle, the moth, eggs, larvae and pupa or cocoon. Like most insects they are fast breeders. The pantry moth life cycle requires a food source to work, mainly cereals and grains e.g. rice or oats. The moth lays eggs on the food source e.g. an open packet of rice. The eggs turn into cream coloured larvae (maggots) and feed. Pantry moth maggots are smaller than fly maggots and cream coloured where are fly maggots are white.  Once they have finished feeding the larvae head upwards and away from the pantry to pupate. Typically they pupate in the next room on the upper skirtings.

 

Inspection

Inspect pantry and stored food stuffs for evidence of life cycle. Look inside all open packets of food stuffs. Look for moths, maggots and “spider webs”. The larvae make long threads which look like spider webs. Look in exterior folds of packets for cocoons.  Inspect holes used for shelving for cocoons. Inspect upper skirtings in kitchen and adjoining rooms for cocoons.

 

Treatment

forget sprays, they don't work on this pest

(i) Discard any infected food ( expensive part)
(ii) Ensure all food is in sealed plastic containers.
(iii) Use sticky moth traps to catch moths
(iv) Destroy any maggots and cocoons

 

Still got moths? Inspect the food source again. You missed an infected item.

 

Catch that MOTH! Remember each female has 20 or more eggs. So 3 moths a night over a week is 3x7=21 x 20= that’s 410 potential maggots!!!!

 

 

ACES pest control also treats, ants, cockroaches and rodents.