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Keep Pantry Moths Out of Your Party


Before putting the next pumpkin pie in the oven, homeowners should be on the lookout for uninvited pests.


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According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), Indian meal moths, part of a group of insects referred to as "pantry pests," can infest common kitchen pantry items such as flour, dry cereal, spices, candies and chocolate. These insects are also attracted to dried flowers and potpourri, which make household decorations another susceptible breeding ground for home infestations.

"Indian meal moths are the most common type of pantry pest found in stored food products," says Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "Although these pests may not directly cause disease or damage homes, Indian meal moths can contaminate food and quickly infest homes."

Female Indian meal moths are able to lay up to 200 eggs in or near a food source in one week, leading to severe infestations in a short amount of time. NPMA offers the following tips to help homeowners:

  • When shopping, purchase sealed packages that have no signs of damage.

  • Use pantry items before the expiration date.

  • Keep cabinets, pantries and counters clean and free of crumbs.

  • Store food in plastic or glass containers with secure lids.

  • Store seasonal décor including dried foliage, potpourri and Indian corn in airtight containers during off seasons, and unpack these decorations outside prior to displaying them inside the home.

  • If you suspect you have an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the problem.
To learn more about pantry pests, or to find a pest professional in your area, visit
Keep Pantry Moths Out of Your Party:  Created on December 14th, 2007.  Last Modified on January 21st, 2014


About NPMA

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a non-profit organization with more than 5,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property, reflected both in the continuing education of the pest professional and the dissemination of timely information to homeowners.


For further information or to find a pest management professional in your area, visit