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Moth control in London

Leading specialist for treating food pests

Food pests or stored product insects as they are more widely known, is the term given to a group of insects that are renowned for infesting a wide variety of dried foods such as flour, cereals, grains, spices, pasta, and similar dried goods. They are so small that sometimes it’s easy to miss them. These insects can cause distress when found in your kitchen or pantry cupboards and are often brought in from outside in packets of food or pet foods.

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About stored product insects
Facts about stored product insects

  • Most of the time stored products insects are found in and around their preferred food source.

  • Some species can breed rapidly, causing a serious problem in a very short period of time.

  • Sometimes you can purchase dried foods from the supermarket that are already infested with stored product pests.

  • Insects tend to go for food sources where they will be left undisturbed or have easy access, so regularly rotate your packets of food to prevent insects from breeding.

  • There are many types of SPIs but the most common ones we deal with are detailed below.

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Indian meal moth (Plodia Interpunctella)

Laying up to 200 eggs at a time, the female passes from one food source to another, spinning a silk thread as she moves, and this can easily be seen as webbing on and around the infested food source. The larvae will then eat the grain and pupate in a cocoon that will be found in cracks and crevices like the corners of ceilings. This is an extremely common pest found in larder cupboards in UK Homes. The Indian meal moth will feed on biscuits, cereals, dried fruits, and other common household foodstuffs.

Size: adult wingspan 15 – 19mm.
larvae 8 – 15mm in length

Colour: buff to yellow-brown wings at the top, the remainder reddish brown, whilst larvae tend to be whitish in colour.

Breeding pattern: Life cycle 1 – 3 months. Females lay eggs amongst grain, then the larvae bore into the kernels.

These moths are an extremely persistent pest and because their life cycle is a rapid one, a few moths can suddenly turn into a full-blown infestation. Eradicating the visible adult moths will only give temporary relief as larvae will be present in cracks and crevices and will quickly progress to adulthood, so a thorough, well planned treatment for this tenacious pest is what’s required.

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Flour beetles
The flour beetle class has two commonly seen types in the United Kingdom: the rust red flour beetle (Tribolium Oryzae) and the confused flour beetle (Tribolium Confusum). Their physical characteristics are similar and this has led to the name ‘confused flour beetle’, however, the main difference is evident in their antennae, with the rust red beetle having a distinct 3 segmented club at the tip, whilst the confused flour beetle has an indistinct 5 or 6 segmented antennae.

Size: both adult beetles are 3 – 4mm long, with their larvae growing up to 6mm in length.

Colour: both adult beetles are reddish brown in colour, with their larvae white in colour.

Breeding:the life cycles of both of these beetles are 4 – 8 weeks. Females lay up to 400 eggs loosely among food material.

Both the rust red flour beetle and the confused flour beetle are frequently found where they feed on stored cereals, grains, stockfeed, seeds, and even spices. It’s interesting to know that neither beetle can eat whole grains and tend to consume broken kernels and cereal dust. These beetles are able to breed throughout the year in warm areas. The life cycle takes from 40 to 90 days, and the adult can live for three years. All forms of the life cycle may be found in infested grain products at the same time.
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Biscuit beetle
The biscuit beetle is a tiny brown beetle that can be found infesting a wide variety of dried plant products. It prefers dried herbs and plant material, sometimes used as drugs, hence why it’s also known as the drugstore beetle, and they have also been known to feed on strychnine, a highly toxic herbal extract. It can also feed on a diverse range of dried foods and spices, as well as hair, leather, books, museum artefacts, and as their name suggests, biscuits. The fact that they tend to eat expensive plant material means that these can become extreme costly if treatment or preventative measures are not put in place quickly.

Size: Adults can be up to 3.5 mm in length.

Colour: They are mid-dark brown beetles with a matte appearance.

Breeding: The female can lay up to 75 eggs at once, and the larval period can last up to several months depending on the food source.

Although they will eat all kinds of biscuits (including pet food biscuits), they will infest a wide variety of foods including cereals, powdered soups, dried milk powder, and more. The female beetle will usually lay her eggs in foodstuff that is suitable for larval development. These eggs will then hatch and the newly emerged larvae will chew their way through most types of packaging materials to feed on the contents within. It is the larvae that do the damage, because the adult beetles do not feed, however they can fly and this is how infestations in commercial food storage areas can easily become widespread in a short amount of time.
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Saw-toothed grain beetle (Oryzaephilus Surinamensis)
The sawtoothed grain beetle is defined by sawtoothed-like projections, and there are six tiny ones of these on each side, just behind the head, though you may need a magnifying glass to see them clearly. Generally, it can’t feed on large particles or whole grain, but will tend to nibble on broken kernels or even follow up after other food storage pests.

Size: Adults and larvae are both 3 – 4mm long.

Colour: dark brown (adults), white (larvae).

Breeding: life cycle of 3 – 6 weeks. Females lay up to 300 eggs amongst broken grain and other food.

Commonly seen in grain bins and wheat silos, as well as kitchen pantries. Originally from the Americas, but now found globally around the world, including the United Kingdom, and they have a rapid breeding cycle and the number of eggs averages 375 per female. Eggs hatch in 3-5 days. Within a few hours of hatching, larvae begin to feed. Treatment and preventative measures should be in place as soon as possible once an infestation has been established.
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How do you know you have them?

  • You will see live evidence of insects like moths flying around, or very small beetles crawling around in cupboards and packets of food.

  • The larvae sometimes nest in the corners of the ceilings, so look at where the walls meet the ceiling to spot webbing and larvae.

  • When you use dried food and pour it out of the packet, you will see clumps of webbing from moths where the insects feed and spread.

  • Check all packets or containers of dried foods, as sealed bags may have been pierced or already have the insects inside.

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How do I get rid of them?

  • Firstly, check all of your dried foods to see what’s damaged and throw them out (don’t risk saving a few packets of rice even if they don’t have anything in them), and definitely discard anything that is out of date.

  • See if you can push the air out of packets of food. If so, it’s likely that there are stored product insects inside, so these must be discarded.

  • Clean inside the cupboards and remove any traces of dried foods, paying particular attention to the back of the cupboards and the corners.

  • Check adjacent cupboards even if they have no food in them, as insects travel from one food source to another.

  • Remove any webbing/larvae on the walls or ceilings and sweep up any spilt dried food sources from under units and appliances.

  • The best course of action would be to contact us so we can provide peace of mind with our professional and preventative treatments.

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How The Pied Piper eradicates stored product insects in London

1 The first visit

  • Initially, we would identify the pest which is damaging or infesting your home. Identification is key to applying the correct treatment.
  • We would provide you with a treatment information sheet on how to prepare your property for our technician’s arrival.
  • Our tech will discuss the treatment we will be carrying out and give you safety instructions on when you will be able to return to the property.
  • We will then proceed to carry out the insecticidal treatment to all the high-risk areas using a combination of insecticides.
  • Our technician will complete a detailed inspection report explaining what they have done and leave you with a contactless digital copy.

2 The second visit

  • Our tech will arrive for the second visit and discuss with you any new evidence or sightings you may have had since the first visit.
  • We will then proceed to carry out the same treatment again, treating all the high-risk areas to make sure nothing is missed.
  • The premises should normally be clear at this stage, and two treatments are usually sufficient in eradicating infestations of stored product insects, but with severe cases a third treatment could be required.
  • Our technician will complete a detailed inspection report explaining what they have done and leave you with a contactless digital copy.

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We have been trading for over twenty-five years and have gained a reputation as one of London’s leading pest control providers with our professionalism and customer service, our reviews speak for themselves.  We offer 24-hour pest control in and around London.

  • Reliable and professional service
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Efficient Solutions

The Pied Piper has a proven track record and experience covering all types of pest control including Rodents, bed bugs, wasps, fleas, grey squirrels, foxes and birds. We can Identify pest species and signs quickly and take instant action. You can expect high-quality services from expert pest technicians to ensure effective treatment for common pests, seasonal pests, unwanted pests, bed bug infestations, and other pests.

  • Latest techniques and formulations
  • Environmentally friendly solutions
  • Non toxic alternatives are available
  • Comprehensive monitoring and reports
  • Professional & experienced technicians

Safety Conscious

The Pied Piper places health and safety above all else when dealing with the public. Our pest control procedures are safe for people and pets. Our local technicians are constantly attending the latest courses and have regular safety training to carry out their work safely. We use pest control chemicals that are safe for use and we use the best pest control methods provided by pest control professionals. So, you can ensure quality pest removal services from us. 

  • All pesticides used are approved for use in the UK
  • All technicians are kitted out with the relevant PPE
  • CHAS, Safe Contractor, CEPA, BPCA accredited
  • Non-Toxic treatments


The Pied Piper can also provide your home or business with the following additional services and expertise as these would be an extension of the pest control solutions we provide. Our pest control technicians take pest control contracts seriously and put immense effort into ensuring the best quality services for you. 


  • Abseiling
  • Decontamination services
  • Rubbish removal
  • Decontamination and disinfection treatments
  • Drain surveys and inspections

How it Works

1. Contact

Call or message us and we will arrange for a member of our team to contact you

  • Local Knowledgeable pest control experts
  • Calls returned same day
    (during Mon-Fri 8-5pm)
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2. Survey

We will discuss your pest problem and quote you over the phone or arrange a survey and email you a quote asap

  • Appointment time slots to suit you
  • Control programs tailored to your requirements
  • BPCA certified technicians

3. Treatment

Our BPCA qualified technicians will attend your property to provide pest control treatments

  • Appointment at a time convenient to you
  • Explain clearly what our tech will do
  • Child & pet safe treatments

4. Aftercare

We will make sure that after your treatment program is complete your premises will be clear of any pests

  • Pest prevention advice given
  • Detailed reports
  • Peace of mind
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