K.M. asks from Kailua Kona, HI on July 01, 2008
Annoying Moth-like Creatures
In the last month we have had an infestation of these small flying bugs that sort of look like tiny moths when they fly but when stationary they are slender and look to me like long black wild rice. They have taken up residence in my son's room and daily I swat down about 15-20 of them, only to find that many again the next day. They have not migrated out of that room despite the open door. There are no open windows. We do keep my son's pet rabbit in there so I cleaned out his cage thoroghly and discarded all the food and bedding and bought fresh. Any thoughts on what these are and how to get rid of them? My son won't sleep in there!
So What Happened?™
Well, I put the food in the freezer and did a bomb spray that is for flying insects. I also ordered the bio-something traps someone recommended. I still have a few and we are still being vigilant about cleaning and killing the live ones. Unfortunately we cannot move the rabbit out of that room (cage is built in there and we have LOTS of stray cats). But so far so good. You are wonderful, I needed help so bad. By the time I opened my email the day after posting this the moths had begun to move into the other rooms in the house. At least they never made it to the kitchen! Thanks again!
A.G. answers from San Diego on July 01, 2008
They kind of sound like the flying termites (disgusting, I know) that we used to have problems with when we lived in LA. They're nearly impossible to get rid of b/c they live in the trees and come in from outside, so even if you get rid of the ones you have, new ones are likely to come in. do they tend to congregate on the bed, and on paper (like in books, etc)? good luck!
K.Y. answers from Los Angeles on July 01, 2008
Yes, like Charlotte said, they are the Indian Meal Moths. They are extremely annoying but not really dangerous. Keep on the look out for tiny whitish worms with a black tip at the head, these are the larvae. Also, make sure that you go through your pantry...spices, flours, cereals...they can get into almost anything (closed jars included). You'll see a little whitish cocoon.
J.W. answers from San Diego on July 01, 2008
Can you put the rabbit somewhere and set off a bug bomb in the room? Identify them on the internet or take them to a bug man. There are entemologists at some colleges. Not so sure it is the rabbit, which is why I say bomb the room. They could be termites so you should find out soon.
C.P. answers from San Diego on July 01, 2008
Those are Indian Meal Moths. They most likely came in with the rabbit's food. We had them a few years ago in our pantry, they infested in our rice, flour, corn starch, etc. It was disgusting and annoying to have them flying around. Be sure to clean the rabbit's cage daily and discard any leftover food (especially if there are seeds of any kind - they lay their eggs ON the seeds). Wash the room thoroughly with soap and water. You may try a bomb of some kind or a bug spray. I went through our pantry and threw out almost everything to avoid possible eggs being laid in it. And since it was the pantry, I just used soap and water to clean everything down and I never had anothr problem with the meal moths after that.
J.L. answers from San Diego on July 01, 2008
Hi K., we get those every summer, they get into ceral, flour, rice things like that and they turn into silk worms, my husband ordered little traps for them, because there were so many at one time, plus we had to put everthing in plactice and jars, cause the can burrel through boxes and packagins. The traps are called BioCare, they are a certifide Green product and the are pesticide free, so they are safe if you have pets and small children. You can go on the enternet and look them up, or contact me little later and I will ask my husband where he ordered them from, they work really well. J.