Moth problem..Help please.....

lucidmikeJune 7, 2008

Allright I have had a moth problem for about 5 maybe 6 months now. The thing is it is in two areas of my apartment. One in my room the other in my living room coincedentally both are seemingly around the area of the TV. So last night I looked up the types of moths that they could be. And I saw a picture of the Indian meal moth and thought it looked massively familiar due to killing them in my living room all the time. So I found an empty jar with a lid and caught one and sure enough it is an Indian meal moth. After what I read about thee Indian meal moth it kinda made sense due to the fact that near the TV is birdseed for my bird and the birds outside. Also peanuts for squirrels.

Now the moths in my room I'm still unsure about. I tried catching one earlier but it got away and flew into an unlit area nontheless a tight squeeze. Anyways I have two Guinea Pigs in my room and noticed the moth problem when I spent some money and got them a huge bag of litter at Petco. Now I know moths are attracted to food but how can they be attracted to pieces of wood. Now the food for them is and has always been kept in a airtight container. Now my main question here is can there be two different infestations with two different types of moths or is it safe to assume that the moths in my room are Indian Meal Moths. And how do I go about getting rid of the pests. I'm at the point where I am willing to relocate my guinea pigs for a day and completely spray my room down with a few cans of Raid. Any suggestions would really be appreciated.

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I had a problem in one of our homes a few years ago. We traced it to a rolled up wool rug (in the garage!), got rid of the rug, bagged up (if only temporarily) anything at all woolen, and got rid of the problem.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 3:17PM
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If you can solve this problem, please let me know. I've been battling the same problem since March. My bedroom closet is completely infested with indian meal moths and their larva. In my case, the source seemed to be a box of chocolates that I had hidden in the closet and forgotten about. I remeoved the food source and I remove the moths and larva daily but more keep coming. I called in a profession exterminator who sprays and hangs pheremone traps but that hasn't helped either. I do know that Raid won't help. You have to find the eggs which are microscopic and remove them in order to deaccelerate the life cycle. The eggs are usually laid in cracks and crevices that you can't see or get to. Please let me know if you ever meet with success--I'm at my wits end.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 3:44PM
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Yeah I was told I had to find the eggs by someone else too but here is the thing. its not like these guys are growing by numbers or anything like that. I see one or two every 3 to 4 days and I have no source of food in my bedroom besides the guinea pig food which is covered air tight.I vaccumed my ceilng edge today and got I think 4 larva nests. They had webing hanging off them which kind of reminded me of a spider web but it was definetly too thich a webbing to be a spider web and since this endever I have seen yet again another two moths, one I tried having land on my hand to see what kind of moth it is which I ended up accidentally crushing and another that dissapeared. So my wonderings are is there more to this Indian meal moth than just food or does it indeed feed off of other things such as wood and or just plain cardboard. I'm at a loss and about ready to get something that will eat the moths and let that go loose.

Also something I forgot to mention earlier, I have carpeted rugs and if these moths are reproducing as much as I have read chances are these rugs are infested with eggs to some extent right? And poopsiem like you said the eggs usually lie in crevaces and the heater in this apartment is along the baseline of the floor I'm sure you know what i mean so there are probably dozens of eggs under there too right? Is there such thing as a mthball spray? Yeah I know moth balls have been proven hazardus but you know with something like this you really cant help but to go with what works and from my memory mothballs worked.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 9:22PM
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I removed every source of food that I could find yet they keep coming. I do a thorough inspection every day but don't find any cocoons anymore. At one time they were stuck to everything in my closet but I handpicked each one and murdered it! Occasionally I find larva but the moths wait for me nightly in and around the closet. I dismantled everything in that closet, vacuumed everything--around the baseboard, in hollow pockets of the door and pole, my shoes and clothing, and all items on the shelf. The very next day, the moths were back. I can't figure out where they are during the daytime and what the food source might be as my closet is now the cleanest place in my house. I'm wondering if they can be under the carpeting in the closet. I'm thinking of ripping out the carpeting and sealing up any cracks above or below the baseboards, also putting all the contents of the closet in plastic bags to isolate the invisible eggs which are waiting to emerge. They have to be coming out from behind the walls. That's my best guess. The exterminator continues to spray but he's completely stumped. It's maddening. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 2:10PM
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I honestly have no clue what to tell you. I seem to have my problem under control. Either it is under control or all the other moths paid attention to the fact that I caught another one of them and smothered 8 more, highky unlikely. So it seems to be under control and all I did was vaccum the cracks and baselines of bothe my ceiling and my floor. but this is only day two since so I will keep you updated.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:45AM
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Yep they are still coming... Well I figure I will just beat this all together and start looking for a new apartment. I figure its the best and easiest way to beat them. If any one has any other suggestions please let me know.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 9:18AM
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I'm going to rip apart my closet, put in a new door and pole, caulk all cracks, rip up the carpeting and put all the contents including my clothes into plastic space bags for several months. Then I'm going to periodically bomb the heck out of them every few weeks, hopefully killing the present generation and newcomers. If this doesn't work, then I'm going to drain the lines this coming winter, turn off the heat and move out for a month or so. That should freeze out the suckers. I'm desperate.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 8:48PM
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Mike, the moths and larvae often hatch because of the pet food. You say you keep the pet food covered. But when you feed it to the pets it isn't covered. Moving will simply move the problem. You have the kind of stuff that has larvae in it. Also any bird or guinea pig droppings attract bugs.
we lined our closets with cedar, and that helped a lot

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 9:06PM
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I'm working on the cedar. I hope it works. Also like I said before I have only seen one or two every few days. Now is it possible these moths are coming from the downstairs looking for food cause if they try to take the bird food they become insatant lunch for the bird.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 1:49AM
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My husband's closet is now infested. I think my house is doomed!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 4:53PM
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I can only share my experience when I used to do floral designs. These pesky little moths, in addition to liking to hitch a ride on pet foods, also tend to arrive in dried floral arrangements (including eucalyptus stems).

I once bought a large eucalyptus supply from one of my wholesalers and a moth or two was flitting around in the box when I opened it. I immediately wrapped it shut and took it outside (wintertime) because I had learned from others in the business they are common (supplies are typically imports, who knows where they've been) and to immediately wrap the offending florals tightly in plastic (like a heavy dark garbage bag) and freeze it (outside in winter or in a freezer in other seasons). That did the trick for me. I knew other florists back then, who as a precaution would freeze inventory before they ever opened it in their their home or shop. They would seal them tightly in a plastic garbage bag (taped tight, so nothing can get out) and then freeze them.

Aside from florals, check things like pet foods and treats and even groceries (mostly of the grain variety). I did some googling, here's a good article from OSU, they recommend the freezing method or extreme heat, and give an address for obtaining a product to help control them.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 5:49PM
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guarantee deliverance of any kind of pesty bugs, legs or wings!!..about 6-7 dollars each
but will be your answer!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 9:36AM
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No pest strips might work for most insects but not indian meal moths. These are probably the most insidious and stubborn of all insects. If you can't find the eggs which are microscopic, the life cycle repeats forever. There is no simple fix--the only things that might work are draining the lines to your house in dead winter and letting the eggs and larvae freeze or fumigating on a continual basis until you've disrupted the entire life cycle. Being infested with these moths is a serious problem as finding the source is like finding a needle in a haystack. You have to live it to understand it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Yeah I think I'm going to put the guinea pigs and the bird (going to be very interesting) in the bathroom with my plug in heater and turn off the heat and on the AC at full blast maybe January or late December and kill these moths and well whatever else may be in here. Still going to try other things in the mean time though.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 2:08AM
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umm, it's the pet food or wood shavings you would freeze if you've seen the moths around it.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 7:24AM
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Your moth problem is coming directly from your pet food. Store pet food in sealed cannisters. Check the bags you buy before you bring them inside. Empty the contents into the cannister outside so any hatched moths will fly away. Place bird seed in the freezer for a couple of hours to kill the larva. Go to the hardware store and get some strip sticks fly paper - to kill the moths you have flying around. You may also want to go get some cedar shingles in order to retard the moths you have from laying eggs anywhere.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 10:29PM
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you said birdseed... Place the birdseed and guinea pigfood in the freezer, and keep it there, the seed will stay fresh, and the moth eggs will die. Just purchase smaller amounts and freeze it, and in time your moth problem will subside.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:19AM
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Ok I have frozen the animal food and the problem susided for a few weeksbutnow it seems worse than ever. In fact they fly around and land on my tv at night whilst I am trying to watch it. I have tried vaccuuming the entire rug but it seems everything IK try to do they just double in mass. Every 1 that I find and kill I get two or more harassing me later on in the day.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 11:27PM
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For heaven's sake, just get in an extermination company and be done with it. We had a similar problem, and while I thought it was related to e.g. birdseed, clothes, etc., it turned out to be an old 100% wool rug that was rolled up in the attached garage (and forgotten about) and harboring a huge colony of moths. Once we got rid of that, we still had problems, but eventually they were able to be dealt with. But if you don't know the source of your moths, let the pros take care of it once and for all.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 6:19AM
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For the last few weeks I've had these Meal Moths hanging on my ceiling which is strange since I do not keep meal, flour etc. in my house. I finally discovered their "nesting" places. They are all in the soil of my house plants. A few weeks back I started putting coffee grounds in my house plants. Unfortunately Meal Moths have found this to be a wonderful incubation medium. I have now taken all the plants outside. I'll keep you updated on whether it solves my moth problem.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:58PM
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I have a parrot, and the moths came in with the bird food. I have traps for pantry moths all over the house, and they get full, but still they don't go away. I now keep all my birdfood in the freezer.

I guess I need more traps.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:16PM
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After taking houseplants outside a week ago I have been vigilant to kill all the adult moths I could find each morning. For they last two mornings I have not found any moths. I just hope all the remaining eggs and larvae in the soil of the plants are gone by fall when I have to bring the plants back inside.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:48PM
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For some reason my post from yesterday didn't show up.


How is your moth situation now that your plants are outside? I think they might be in mine too and am wondering if there is a poison we can put in the soil to kill them?
It seems every product says for outside plants.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 1:57AM
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While they were outside I didn't have a single moth. I have been bringing my plants back in one at a time. Occasionally I will have a moth or two, but I'm vigilant about killing them. Then when it seems there are no more, I bring another in and do the same. I was gone for a week and when I came back there were no moths, so I am bringing another plant in tomorrow. I did find larvae in some of the plants and tried to dig out as many as I could find. Of course, the eggs are microscopic and can not be seen.

I do not know of any poison that can be sprayed in the house, but perhaps it would be ok if you sprayed the soil while they are outside and left them out for a week or so, or at least until the spray is dry, it should be ok. Anything with permethrin should do the trick. I also read that a half inch of sand spread on top of the soil would help. I haven't tried this.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 4:14AM
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    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 4:35AM
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Haven't done this yet but planning to put garlic cloves in the soil, Farmers Almanac recommended for pest larva in soil. I will put the sand on top.
They seem to be in their "hiding" mode for the winter but this happens to me every year and they always return around august.
The very strange thing about this is mine are not in the pantry!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2014 at 8:59AM
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