4 Signs You Have Meal Moths

Meal moths, also referred to as pantry moths, are creatures that have the potential to do quite a number on the food in your pantry. It is not the adult moths that are a problem, but instead the hundreds of larvae that they lay that can cause complications. In order to protect your food items from being destroyed, it is imperative that you look out for these signs that meal moths are in the home.

1.Seeing Adult Moths Flying Around 

Just like any other infestation, it all starts with one creature. If you see even a single adult meal moth around the house, head straight for your pantry to look for other signs of discrepancy. These moths will usually be found lingering around the kitchen more than anywhere else in the home. They are identifiable by their bi-colored wings and small stature, only being about a half-inch long.

2.Discovering Webbing in Stored Food 

The surest sign of meal moths is a distinctive webbing on the inside of food items in your pantry. This is because the larvae spin webs as they grow and often leave them behind as they travel. Webbing can be identified by its fine, silken appearance loosely clinging to items such as grains. The webbing is sticky, causing individual grains or cereals to clump together.

3.Holes in Pantry Items 

Meal moth larvae are not picky eaters. They burrow into a variety of food items, including but not limited to coarsely ground grains, cereal, dried herbs, fruits, nuts, powdered milk, flour, hot pepper flakes, spices, dry pet food, and seeds. They will chew through plastic and thin cardboard surfaces in order to reach these items, creating small holes in the packaging.

4.The Presence of Larvae 

An undeniable sign of meal moth infestation is seeing the actual larvae. It is quite difficult to see them when they are still eggs or newly hatched because of how small they are, but once they are larger, it is easy to notice their yellow, green, or pink exteriors. They will eventually leave the pantry and can be seen weaving silken cocoons with their webbing in order to become adult moths.


An infestation of any kind is an unpleasant ordeal. Fortunately, once you know what to look for, you can eradicate the issue as soon as possible. Being aware of what to look for is the first step in the prevention of an avoidable issue becoming out of control.

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