Quick Answer: Can Indian meal moths survive without food?

A: Indian meal moths, Plodia interpunctella, cannot reproduce for generations without food, be it cereal products, dried fruit, dehydrated vegetables, nuts, candy or dog food.

How long can Indian meal moths live without food?

Life Cycle of the Pantry Moth

The average is 4-7 weeks. Usually, the first noticed is the adult, which will only live 1 or 2 weeks without feeding.

How long can moths survive without food?

An adult moth can survive without food for 1 to 2 weeks before it dies. While starving, the female moth will still lay eggs which procures the lifecycle.

Do pantry moths need food to survive?

Interestingly, adult Pantry Moths do not have mouths, so they do not need food. Their sole purpose is finding a light, finding a mate, and laying eggs to die. Because the lifespan of an adult moth is only 5-25 days, you often won’t see them until they are found while sweeping up dust bunnies.

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How long can pantry moth larvae live without food?


The larvae and pupa of pantry moths can survive for months without food, which makes eliminating an infestation difficult. The life cycle of the pantry moth lasts for about six months.

What temperature kills Indian meal moths?

Four days should kill the life stages of most stored product pests. Heat will also kill stored product pests if temperatures of 130°F to 150°F (54°C to 66°C) are maintained for 24 hours in infested facilities.

Can Indian meal moths come from outside?

Indian meal moths may be brought into your home through infested food products or by rodents stashing foods. In some locations, the adults can fly into your home from the outside. Usually the first sign that you have Indian meal moths is seeing the adults flying around in your kitchen.

Do Indian meal moths eat sugar?

Indian meal moths can infest a wide variety of different stored and dried goods. They could feed on cereal, pasta, bread, pet food, nuts, seeds, flour, dried fruit, sugar, or even spices.

How long do Indian meal moths live?

The adult moths only live for about five to twenty-five days, 3 long enough to mate and for female moths to lay eggs on food items. In a few days, whitish caterpillars with brown heads hatch 4 and may feed in your cupboard for several weeks or months, depending on the temperature.

Can you eat flour with moths in it?

So will pantry moths or their larvae, eggs and webbing make you sick if you accidentally eat them? The experts say no. So, if you ingest them, don’t panic. Indian meal moths are not known to spread any known diseases, parasites or pathogens.

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Can pantry moths get into Tupperware?

Transferring your dry goods into airtight Tupperware containers will keep it away from kitchen intruders. Having opened packets of lentils, flour(s) and cereals are a tempting invitations to moths, which could lead to severe infestation.

What kills pantry moth eggs?

Place infested items in the freezer for a week to kill pantry moth larvae and eggs. Place all new food items into glass or plastic containers in case lingering moths exist. Pheromone traps may be used to monitor the population and capture male moths. Plain yellow sticky traps may also be helpful.

How do I get rid of pantry moths forever?

How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths

  1. STEP 1: Empty the pantry and inspect its contents. Empty out the affected area—completely. …
  2. STEP 2: Dispose of non-airtight containers. …
  3. STEP 3: Vacuum the area, then clean with a vinegar-and-water solution. …
  4. STEP 4: Don’t re-stock the pantry right way!

Do pantry moths go dormant?

During the wintertime, Indian meal moths do not die off; rather, they enter a state of dormancy called diapause. … While Indian meal moth eggs remain unhatched during cold temperatures, they can hatch prematurely in artificially warm environments — like your home!

What happens if you eat pantry moth larvae?

Basically, nothing will happen if you eat pantry moth larvae in food or in the flour. … It only has an effect on the mental state since the pantry moths and their larvae are perceived as disgusting. The most common caterpillar ingested is the cereal moth larvae or the Indian meal moth larvae.

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Do Indian meal moths eat potatoes?

They feed in a number of food products that are not refrigerated, canned or in airtight containers. Their food choices include grain-based foods like corn meal, pancake and muffin mix, flour, rice, barley, cereal, oatmeal, pasta, unpopped popcorn, corn starch, dry bread crumbs and instant mashed potato flakes.