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White maggots crawling on the ceiling are setting off alarm bells for all of us. It's not normal for these little animals to spread in our habitats! Are they a sign of uncleanliness? No. Nevertheless, energetic grabbing is now the order of the day.

White maggots and disgust go hand in hand. Nobody wants to come into contact with the little crawlers. If a maggot is then sighted in your own four walls, the horror is great. She has to go immediately! It's good if it stays with one maggot. But usually more of them follow. Where are you from? And more importantly, how do you get rid of them?

Maggots and their Companions

White maggots, or more precisely, caterpillars on the ceiling, are mostly descendants of moths. But even these are occasionally observed on the ceiling, the walls or fluttering in the rooms. Laid eggs and pupated larvae also belong to this infestation, but are usually so well hidden that they do not immediately catch the eye. Undetected and left to evolve, the moth population then multiplies rapidly.

  • Food moths thrive in the kitchen
  • also called kitchen moths
  • including: flour moth, grain moth, and dried fruit moth
Dried fruit moth, Plodia interpunctella

notice: If moths are often seen in other rooms, it should be checked whether the clothes moth is still at work here.

Where are you from?

First of all, moths are not a result of poor hygiene. Because they are usually dragged along with the purchase of groceries. In the depths of the kitchen cupboards, they then multiply in secret for a long time until they are discovered by accident or their traces can no longer be overlooked.

  • Moths flutter in kitchen cupboards or in the room
  • Larvae pupate in hidden crevices
  • white caterpillars can be spotted anywhere in cupboards
  • often they crawl on the ceiling

Possible sources of moth larvae

Food moths feed on our food and can therefore be found in the middle of it. They prefer dry foods that do not require refrigeration. Among them are mainly:

  • Flour, rice and starchy products
  • whole and ground nuts
  • legumes
  • spices
  • Pasta, cookies, muesli
  • chocolate

Get rid of maggots & moths

Check food supplies

White maggots seen on kitchen ceilings are usually just the tip of the iceberg. The far larger part of the "moth family" lurks somewhere in the middle of our food. Far too often we tend to unite stock of it to create. They're stored in the back of our cupboards for months, until they're "maybe" needed at some point. In the meantime, they feed the maggots.

  • examine all, really all, food thoroughly
  • Dry stocks are primarily affected
  • there are often webs to be discovered
  • depending on the progress of the infestation also white maggots and moths
  • Clean out closets and look in all corners
  • also destroy discovered moth moths
  • there can be several infestations
  • therefore do not stop the search after the first find
flour moth. Ephestia kuehniella

tip: Moths and their offspring also find their way through thin plastic packaging or cardboard boxes. Therefore, be sure to check unopened food as well.

Destroy infested food

All food that has been affected must be disposed of immediately. They are not suitable for consumption and also house an egg brood, which ensures further moth replenishment.

  • no longer use contaminated food
  • dispose of immediately and completely
  • put in the trash can outside
  • Better to throw away too much than too little

tip: It is also recommended to freeze infested leftover food for about 24 hours to destroy the pests. Only then is the food thrown away. Since the garbage often waits for days to be picked up, there is otherwise a risk that the flying moths will get back into the rooms.

Thorough cleaning

After the moth's dwelling has been discovered and eliminated, you should give the kitchen a thorough cleaning. For that is a vinegar cleaner well suited. If possible, no crack or drill hole should be left out. Another way to destroy the eggs is heat. Inaccessible areas can then be heated for a few minutes hair dryer air to be edited.

Maggots and moths on the move

White maggots don't stay in their food source forever. Many leave their land of milk and honey and then set out on a journey. Especially the ceiling is a popular tourist destination. But butterflies also find their way out of the kitchen cupboard and flutter around or are spotted on the walls.

  • Check every corner of the kitchen
  • Walls, ceilings and closets
  • Collect and destroy finds with a cloth
  • moths appear at dusk
  • Also carefully collect and destroy moths
  • set up sticky moth traps if necessary

notice: If a moth is hit by a fly swatter, it is definitely destroyed. On the other hand, this type of removal leaves ugly marks on the ceiling or wall. Vacuuming and disposing of the contents of the vacuum cleaner immediately would be a possible alternative.

Offspring in the starting blocks

Once you've spotted and got rid of all the wandering maggots and moths, that's far from the end of them. Because the next generation is already waiting in the starting blocks. Now it's time to look for the eggs or pupated larvae in the kitchen. And that is a lot of work, because there is no shortage of possible whereabouts.

  • Moth eggs are very small
  • therefore difficult to identify
  • are usually placed near possible food sources
  • Moth larvae retreat to pupate
  • prefer remote places
  • in the cracks of the kitchen cupboards
  • also look in the cracks of the Tupperware
  • in boreholes, sockets, end strips, etc.,
  • behind furniture

tip: In a kitchen there are countless hiding places for the pupated larvae. Even with the most thorough investigation, some of the hiding places may go undetected. It is therefore important to continue to look out for the moth family in the weeks that follow and, if necessary, to react immediately.

Ichneumon wasps prey on moth eggs

A chemical agent is not suitable for use in the kitchen as traces of it can get into our food. In the event of a very heavy moth infestation, however, we have an effective biological control measure at our disposal: the parasitic wasp. Ichneumon wasps cannot be compared to the wasps we know.

  • special breeding for moth control
  • Beneficial insects are only about 0.3 mm small
  • get into every crack
  • also suitable for use in the kitchen
  • completely safe for humans and pets
  • do not fly, operate as "pedestrians"
  • don't sting

As soon as the parasitic wasps have found and completely consumed their food source, they die. They crumble into fine dust and otherwise leave no traces.

Dusty wasp, Ichneumonidae

notice: Ichneumon wasps can be ordered online. With regard to the application, the instructions of the supplier must be followed so that the control is successfully completed.

Prevent maggots and moths

Reconsider stockpiling

We can't do without food entirely, after all we have to eat every day. It is therefore important now to avoid the mistakes of the past.

  • Only store essential food in the kitchen
  • Check quantity requirement critically
  • Decant the contents of opened packs immediately
  • in thick plastic cans, sealable jars, etc.
  • this will localize any infestation
  • white maggots cannot spread freely

tip: Check your dry supplies on a regular basis. In this way, you can react in good time and nip a possible infestation in the bud.

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