Rice moths are the most common pantry pests in any home. They infest your stored and dried food like rice, flour, pet food, nuts, and cereals.
In this post, we’ll tell you how to get rid of rice moths. You don’t need any insecticide to get rid of rice moths. Getting rid of rice moths is a whole DIY thing that is easy, and anyone can do it.
In this post, we’ve answered a few common questions on rice moths like, what are rice moths, how do they enter your kitchen, what they do in your kitchen, and what are the signs of infestation.
How To Get Rid Of Rice Moths?
It’s easy to get rid of them. You don’t need any pest control skills nor any poisonous insecticide to kill them. All you need to do is clean up your kitchen and discard the food infested by them.
Here are the 7 simple steps to get rid of rice moths –
- First, check the food storage, food containers, and food in each of the repositories. If the food storage containers are thin, then rice moths can quickly drill through them to lay their eggs inside. If they are loosely packed, then they can also sneak in. So, check thoroughly every food storage jar, including Tupperware, for the signs of rice moth infestation.
- Are there any larvae with brown heads in your dried food? Are there any molds? Do you see any web clusters on your food? These are the signs of infestation. If you find these, then follow along with the rest of the steps.
- Keep the infested food outside of your kitchen and clean your kitchen. Clean your kitchen cabinets and pantry storage thoroughly. Make sure there are no droppings of food lying on the floor or anywhere else in your kitchen. It’d be better if you use a vacuum cleaner.
- Check out for any holes or cracks in your kitchen and across your home. These cracks and holes can be the entry points of adult rice or indianmeal moths. If there’s any, seal them with a sealant.
- Treat the infested food to get rid of the larvae and the dirt. If it’s rice, then you can wash it with warm water. If it’s flour, cereals, dried fruits, pasta, and pet foods, you can keep them inside the refrigerator or spread them out in the sun for a couple of hours. Both heat and cold kill the larvae of rice moths.
- Replace the flimsy and thin food containers and jars with thick and airtight jars. The thick and airtight ones will prevent any future infestation.
- Use Moth traps like these to get rid of adult rice moths flying around in your home. You can also choose to kill them by squashing them if it’s OK with you. But don’t forget to throw away their dead bodies outside your home. Else, you may invite ants.
So, the most obvious question you might have is – “Can I eat the food that I just treated to get rid of rice moths?”
The answer is YES. Rice moths and their larvae don’t carry any pathogens that are dangerous to humans. They don’t spread any diseases either. So, you don’t have to throw away pounds of rice or flour if you had spotted these larvae in them.
It’s safe to consume dry food after treating them in the way we mentioned.
What Are Rice Moths?
Rice moths are flying bugs that you can spot flying around in a zig-zag fashion in your home. They’re 3/8 inches long, and they’ve wings. Their wingspan is from 1/2 to 5/8 inches.
When they’re at rest, they keep their wings on their bodies rather than spreading them out like a butterfly. The bottom of the wing is pale gray or bronze, and the upper half near the head is dark brown.
Rice moths are commonly known as indianmeal moths or pantry moths. The most widely used name for rice moths is indianmeal moth.
How Do Rice Moths Enter Your Kitchen?
There are two they enter in your kitchen.
The first way is that you unintentionally bring them inside your home with the dry foods and the packet foods you buy. Pantry pest infestation is common in most of the storage facilities of grocery stores or Walmart.
The second way is that they enter your home from open windows or crack on the walls. You can easily spot rice moths outside of your home if you live in a hot and humid place, especially down south. But a lot of homes in colder areas have pantry moth infestation too.
What Do Rice Moths Do In Your Kitchen Pantry?
Strangely, rice moths or indianmeal moths’ main intention to invade your kitchen is not to eat or contaminate your food.
They’re there to lay eggs. It’s the larvae that hatch out from the eggs that are the main contaminators. These larvae then eat dry food like rice, flour, or cereals, and they poop and shed their skin on the food itself.
And how do the rice moth larvae look like?
They are like small caterpillars with a greasy texture and cream in color. They’ve got a brownish head, and they crawl very slowly. Their camouflages them well with flour or rice, so at times it can be hard to spot them.
So, if you see molds on your dry foods like rice, flour, and cereals, try to shake them up a bit to find out these larvae.
What Are The Signs Of Rice Moth Infestation?
There are three signs of rice moth or indianmeal moth infestation.
- The first sign is that you see the rice moths flying inside your home. It’s a clear sign of rice moth infestation. There’s a good chance that they might have already laid their eggs on your food.
- The second sign is the most obvious one, clusters of silk webbings on your food, especially inside your rice and flour containers. The larvae of rice moths create these clusters. Inside these clusters, there are larvae poop and the dead skin that they shed.
- The third sign of an infestation is molding on your dry food. The larvae of rice moths make these molds while they are eating your rice and other dried foods.
Rice moths are common pantry pests. They are not harmful to you, but they can contaminate your food if you don’t get rid of them fast.
Here’s how to get rid of rice moths from your home in 7 easy steps –
- Check your food storage for any cracks or holes.
- Check for rice moth infestation signs – silk web clusters, cream color larvae, and molds.
- Thoroughly clean your kitchen.
- Seal any cracks or crevices in your home, especially in your kitchen.
- Treat the infested food with warm water, spread them out in the sun, or keep them inside the refrigerator.
- Use thick and airtight food storage jars to keep your food.
- Keep moth traps in your kitchen to get rid of any leftover rice moths in your home.
You don’t need any elaborate pest treatment with insecticide to get rid of rice moths.
Another pest that infest rice is the booklice. Read our post booklice in rice to know why they infest rice and how can you get rid of them.
We’re Mark and Jim. We were serial pest killers for almost all of our lives. Through this blog we spread pest murdering tips to people like you who want to keep their homes pest free.