Indian moths are a major source of concern in agriculture and food in Canada. These harmful insects are rampant throughout the country and their presence constitutes a threat that should not be taken lightly. An infestation can lead to significant food losses. In fact, a single female can lay hundreds of eggs throughout the year. It is imperative to call on a professional to prevent or fight against the damage caused by an invasion.
The Indian moth: an insidious and devastating insect
The Indian meal moth, also called the meal moth, belongs to the Lepidoptera family. Insects in this category have 2 pairs of wings with small scales and 3 pairs of legs. They originated in South America, but today are present in many countries around the world, including Canada.
In the larva state, an Indian moth measures between 8 to 10 mm. It can reach 20 mm in adulthood. The insect is white or pale pink in color depending on its diet, during the first phases of its life. Its head will turn brown and its wings will turn brown as an adult.
The life cycle, behavior and diet of the Indian moth
The life cycle
The development of the Indian moth consists of four distinct phases, extending from egg to butterfly hatching. The lifespan of this insect varies greatly, ranging from 30 days to 300 days. This longevity depends on various parameters such as temperature, availability of food and the risks to its survival. In conditions adapted to its environment, a female can produce up to 400 eggs at one time.
These harmful insects lay their eggs directly on the products they feed on. They will remain there until they transform into caterpillars. The caterpillars then look for a suitable place to pupate. At this stage, they produce a silk thread, an element that can also be used to detect their presence.
This insect has a marked preference for dry foods such as dried fruits, chocolate, biscuits, cereals and nuts. Additionally, he is attracted to adhesive products commonly used in the construction of wooden structures. It is not unusual to find it in dog food. It is important to note that this pest can transform its food source into a favorable environment for its development.
Indicators of Indian moth infestation
Seeing 2 or 3 insects in the house is not necessarily a sign of infestation. On the other hand, the presence of larvae or silk threads in your food constitutes an indication of invasion.
Here are some additional signs to watch out for:
- Cocoons on food stocks: These provide refuge for Indian moths until they reach the adult stage. Finding it on plants or food supplies is a sure sign of infestation;
- Damaged leaves and stems: In the larval stage, the pest feeds on leaves and stems of plants. It leaves behind holes and jagged edges;
- Damaged food stock: If you are concerned about an infestation, it is wise to check the condition of your food. Make sure there are no larvae or cocoons in your bags of pasta, grains or cereals;
- Excrement stains on food packaging: Caterpillar excrement leaves small dark spots that tend towards dark green;
- The presence of many small Indian moths in your home: If you notice these pests in large numbers in your home, there is a good chance that you are facing an infestation.
What attracts Indian moths?
Several elements favor an invasion of Indian moths, mainly foodstuffs. These insects have a very developed olfactory sense, directing them towards places that smell of food. In addition to products intended for human consumption, these pests are fond of food intended for our pets. It is also worth noting that larvae are attracted to cardboard and soft plastic.
Light is a source of attraction for this type of insect. This pest uses it as a landmark to enter homes. This will enter through doors, windows and cracks in buildings.
Indian moths prefer places where threats to their survival are minimal. They like warm and humid environments. These conditions are conducive to their development.
How to deal with Indian moths?
Following an inspection, the presence of an Indian moth infestation in your home was confirmed? In this case, there are several tips to adopt to get rid of them or to limit their spread. Here are a few :
- Carry out regular cleaning of food storage areas and carefully seal packaging. It is a good idea to store products in containers with lids to prevent the spread of odors;
- Adopt good habits when shopping. Systematically check the condition of the packaging of food products upon purchase;
- Be sure to clean your toaster, especially its drawer, regularly after each use. It is essential to get rid of the crumbs, which these insects are fond of;
- If you want to leave doors and windows open in the evening, consider installing protective screens. This will prevent pests attracted by light from entering. It is also recommended to repair any cracks at the openings.
Contact us to fight against pests
Are you facing a pest infestation? Call us to get rid of it. The intervention of a professional exterminator like us is essential, especially when you have implemented various tricks, but to no avail. At Solution Cimex, we implement effective solutions for lasting results. We use specific products and provide preventive advice to protect your home from a new invasion.