meal moth life cycle


About 2 weeks ago I seen the little worms crawling all over the cat food in my closet so immediately I freaked out and threw away all the cat food and any other kind of grain or cereal. and I sprayed bug spray EVERYWHERE. but now I am seeing all the moths flying around usually its around 2 or 3 a day and they sit right at the door way on the ceiling. I bought the pantry pest trap and it has only caught 3 moths so far. but my question is after all of the larvae hatch into moths will my problem be gone or do you think that they are still mating somewhere. there is no food in the back and I havent seen anymore worms so where are the moths coming from? and I thought once you take thier food source away then then you break the cycle and all I should see is the adult moths but I read something where the adult moths have to have food to emerge? HELP please.

If you read our MEAL MOTH CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn the moths you’re seeing are  hatching from their third stage. This stage is called pupae. As you’ll learn, you cannot kill the pupae so all the ones in your home will be hatching in the coming months and only when they’re completely used up will you stop seeing the adults. In other words, I’m sure this will be happening for the next 1-3 months.

And in case this cycle is not clear, here is a brief outline of what to expect. First, eggs are laid by adult female moths. The eggs are the first stage. The location of the eggs will typically be on or close to a food supply so when the eggs hatch, the “little worms” can feed. These worms are the second stage. After feeding, the worms spin a cocoon in which they remain for several weeks and undergo a metamorphosis. This is when they change from a worm to an adult moth. This cocoon is the third stage and referred to as the pupae. And once this change is complete, they’ll hatch as the adults you’re now seeing. Adult moths represent the fourth stage.

So to break the cycle, you need to first remove their food supply. Second, you’ll need to treat with a product like DFORCE or PHANTOM everywhere the moths are seen. Since adult moths will be laying eggs, having the Dforce in place to kill the worms when they hatch is critical to solving the problem. Next, you’ll need to set out lots of MOTH TRAPS. 3-6 are usually required per home. These will trap adults and in the end, help to both monitor the local activity and reduce the chance of re-infestation.

In summary, it sounds as though you’ve removed a lot of their potential food. However, it’s unclear if you’ve sprayed enough or if you’ve set out enough Moth Traps to make the proper impact. Remember, these guys can eat most anything and though removing their original food can have a big impact, once they’re inside the home they’ll be able to target an alternate food to sustain their population if you don’t take complete protective measures.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Meal Moth Control:



Moth Traps:

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