Indian meal moths in a kitchen

We solved an Indian Meal Moth problem account this week.  Over the past month several of our technicians had been to a home and were unable to find where the moths were breeding.  I made a visit to the home and found that our pest control service technicians had indeed tried everything they could think of to get rid of the problem.  Here’s how the problem was ultimately solved by our team.

Usually, Indian Meal Moths are easy to get rid of.  It’s a matter of finding their food source, eliminating it and then setting out pheromone traps to catch mature adults.  This account was different.  The family had done everything that we asked.  They had emptied their cabinets, inspected all their dried food material such as grains, pastas, cereals and the like.  They even had bird seed and dog food that they froze in order to kill existing live stages that may exist within a bag.

After a thorough inspection I asked the homeowner if they leave their pet food out all night.  The owner confirmed that they used to, but stopped about 2 months ago.  Even though they stopped this practice it gave me an idea. Was it possible that they had mice?  We did an inspection in the basement and sure enough we found dog food under the insulation beneath the kitchen.   The mice were taking the dog food and bringing it to the basement, however I found no evidence of Indian Meal Moths or other stored product pests in the area.

After thinking for a minute we decided to check under the cabinets.  The homeowner allowed us to drill a hole through the toe kick of the cabinet and insert a scope.  The scope confirmed my suspicions.  Mice had been taking pet food for months and bringing it under the cabinet.  This is where the larva were getting a food source.

To solve the problem, the homeowner had to remove the cabinet and vacuum approximately 4 cups of dried dog food and live larva from the previously hidden area.  We then set traps for the mice, did an interior crack and crevice treatment, removed existing pupa and set out more lures to catch the adults.

We’ll check back this week, but I’m positive the problem is solved.

If you or someone you know has a pest control problem and needs an exterminator call Envirocare Pest Control, LLC.  We can help.