How to Get Rid of Moth Larvae in Ceilings

There are so many potential house pests, that it would be tough to list them all here. Some of the most common types of house pests, however, include centipedes, millipedes, and the dreaded moth fly larvae. House pests such as these can be found hanging around your drains and pipes, and even in and on your ceilings.

Also called drain flies, filter flies, or sewer flies, moth flies are grayish or dark in color. Hundreds of fine hairs cover the wings and the body. You can find moth flies resting indoors with their wings held over their bodies. The wings create a “roof” which protects the moth while sleeping. Moth flies can be found resting on bathroom walls and around drain-like surfaces. The larvae are less than ¼ of an inch long. They have small suction discs along their bellies to help suction to slippery surfaces. They have a distinct head and a somewhat flattened body. They do not have legs.


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The larvae of moth flies like to hang around drains, within drains, underneath drain plugs and screens, and inside of pipes. They eat the gelatinous film found in bathroom sinks, tubs, and toilets and well as kitchen sinks. Moth flies develop in four stages: egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. Moth flies have many generations each year and they occur anytime of the year in moist coastal regions – indoors and outdoors. Moth flies are common outdoors during the winter and spring months in California – mainly the interior areas.

If you want to avoid a moth fly infestation, there are several prevention methods you can use. You should screen windows and doors and reduce moisture and organic debris. To keep moth flies from multiplying, fix leaking plumbing immediately. You should also clean muck that collects in drains or under dripping taps, and brush or wash away slime under drain plugs, screens, and inside the top of drainpipes, above the water level in the J-trap.

To get rid of moth larvae in ceilings, you should call an exterminator. Kill on contact sprays such as Raid will not control populations. Unfortunately, certain chemicals that are effective for outdoor use cannot be used indoors. You can control populations outdoors (which will prevent them from invading you home) with Biological control agents such as B.t. (Bacillus thuringiensis). It is a naturally occurring soil bacterium that produces poisons, which cause disease in insects.

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B.t. is considered ideal for pest management because of its specificity to pests and because of its lack of toxicity to humans or the natural enemies of many crop pests. Trade names include Acrobe, Bactospeine, Berliner (variety kurstaki), Certan (variety aizawai), Dipel, Javelin, Leptox, Novabac, Teknar (variety israelensis), Thuricide, and Victory. Insecticides can be used outdoors, but they are not recommended for use in the home.

Author: The Top Worm

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