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