Moths are some of the most common insects found in Tennessee. Most species of moths do not cause any harm by biting or stinging, though one species in particular is known to cause damage to stored dried food in many restaurants, grocery stores, and homes across America. The Indianmeal moth is an insect whose larvae feed on dried stored food such as types of dried grains and fruits, cereals, and even nuts. Food storage can be tough to keep up with, but even tougher with these pests around.
The Indianmeal moth received its name from an American expert who noticed the larvae mostly feeding on Indian rice. This kind of damage can bring thousands of dollars worth of damage to large storage facilities. They are attracted to light like most moths, and their attraction can lead them to open pantry cupboards that contain dried food, perfect for laying eggs.
According to researchers Thomas R. Fasulo and Marie A. Knox at the University of Florida, “The larvae are surface feeders. Most of the “damage” to stored products occurs when the larvae spin massive amounts of silk that accumulate fecal pellets, cast skins, and egg shells in food products. The damage to stored products due to this contamination exceeds the amount of food eaten by the insects” (Featured Creatures 1998). With so much potential for destruction, it’s always better to be safe than sorry! If you’re having an issue with Indianmeal moths, call a pest control professional today!
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Fasulo, T. R., & Knox, M. A. (2015, November). Indianmeal moth – Plodia interpunctella (Hubner). https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/stored/indianmeal_moth.HTM.