Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Smal med brown moths in home ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Subject: Smal med brown moths in home
Category: Science
Asked by: nrsbear-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 15 Jan 2006 23:18 PST
Expires: 14 Feb 2006 23:18 PST
Question ID: 433882
I have moths in my house---what are they--how can I get rid of them!
1/4" to 3/8" long
<1/8" wide
Cafe au lait color
Darker head
Stays on upper wall for long periods of time
Everyarea of the house.
Help!  Michael Johnson San Jose California
Subject: Re: Smal med brown moths in home
Answered By: siliconsamurai-ga on 16 Jan 2006 05:05 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, thank you for bringing your question to Google Answers, I believe
I can provide the information you need.

Although I obviously can?t be completely certain since you can?t send
a picture, what you very probably have are commonly known as panty
moths or Indian meal moths.

You can see a description and photo at
so you can verify the identity for yourself.

You are likely to find larva in cornmeal or other dry foods in your pantry.

The adult moth actually causes no damage at all but are certainly not
what you would want for dinner guests hanging around in your kitchen
or pantry.

They can remain in the larval stage for up to several hundred days to
getting rid of them will be a long-term project ? fortunately there
are special panty moth traps sold by garden stores, grocery stores,
and I have even seen them in some WalMart stores.

The traps are simple and neat, consisting of an attractant and sticky
paper so you needn?t worry about having them in your kitchen.

I wouldn?t spray for the problem. First, insect sprays don?t belong
near food and, second, because of the long incubation period and many
possible hiding places, you would need to spray very heavily to get
them all.

Control consists of throwing out any open flower and grain containers,
vacuuming the pantry shelves, and placing one or more traps in the

If you open a cornmeal or flower package and see that some of it has
clumped, then you have pantry moths, throw out that package.

There is another useful site at

You will find a number of the traps at, just enter
Pantry moth trap
As the search term.

Google Search Term
Pantry moth

The good news is that if you clean out the food source and place one
or two traps in the area you will see a big drop in the insect
population very quickly, just a day or two.

Remember that you will have to keep a trap in the area for up to a
year to really control emerging insects.
nrsbear-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Smal med brown moths in home
From: mathisfun-ga on 16 Jan 2006 15:15 PST
mmm panty moths, now there is the life.
Subject: Re: Smal med brown moths in home
From: pinkfreud-ga on 16 Jan 2006 15:41 PST
"Panty moths" has got to be the best GA typo ever. And I say this as
the perpetrator of a heckuva lot of GA typos. :-D
Subject: Re: Smal med brown moths in home
From: myoarin-ga on 16 Jan 2006 16:06 PST
Yeah, I saw that too  - and wanted to try to make a very witty
reference, but none occurred to me, and if one had, it probably
wouldn't have been appropriate to post,  oh, maybe: something about
asking if they have anything to do with butterflies in your stomach.
Keep trying, Pinky!
Subject: Re: Smal med brown moths in home
From: siliconsamurai-ga on 16 Jan 2006 17:53 PST
I live to entertain. (GRIN) That's what I get for using voice recognition software.
Subject: Re: Smal med brown moths in home
From: beggarslice-ga on 25 Jan 2006 15:10 PST
These indian meal moth traps work great!  But be aware that fresh
infestations arrive in packaged dry foods, grains, nuts, spices and
condiments that you buy.  That insect has a very wide diet. A
larvae-infested package that you bring in will still become ruined,
but the trap will keep the scourge from spreading to the rest of your
stuff. So keep a trap up 24/7/365.  A single trap in a walk-in pantry
provides full protection, in my experience.  There are other pantry
pests in the weevil family to be aware of too.
Subject: Re: Smal med brown moths in home
From: siliconsamurai-ga on 26 Jan 2006 08:51 PST
You can also get rid of a lot of kitchen pests with a bit of sweet
wine in an open dish.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy