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Indian Meal Moth
Indian Meal Moth

Indian Meal Moth


  • Color: bronze to red-brown outer 2/3 of wing and grey-white inner 1/3.
  • Size: wingspan of 3/4 inch.
  • Larvae are small (1/16 to 1/2 inch), dirty white in color, sometimes with pink or greenish hues.
  • Pupae in loose silken cocoon that is light brown in color.

Habits of the Indian Meal Moth:

  • Most adult moths are active and fly at dusk, mating and egg laying done at night.
  • Females lay between 40 and 400 eggs in a lifetime.
  • Eggs are laid on near food sources. Larvae that hatch outside of packages are capable of penetrate some thinner packaging.
  • As many as eight generations per year depending on conditions.

Look for:

  • Adults resting in food storage areas.
  • Larvae or their silken webbing in stored food.
  • Cocoons in cabinets, appliances, or on nearby walls.

How to Control and Kill Indian Meal Moths:

  • Locating and eliminating the source of the infestation is the most important control measure.
  • Moths have been found infesting a number of products including whole nuts, shelled nuts, bird seed, grass seed, pet food, raisins, cookies, breakfast foods, crackers, flour, red peppers, corn starch, corn meal, dried fruit, peanuts, biscuits, chocolate, cereal grains, and decorative items made from seeds.
  • Food stored in the refrigerator will be safe from infestation, but some products may come from the store already infested.
  • Freezing temperatures will kill all stages in about one week, while heating an entire product (including the center) to 125 F will also kill all stages.
  • Store food items in glass, metal, or durable plastic with tight-fitting lids to prevent infestation.
  • Consume items not stored in air-tight containers within three weeks to minimize the chance of infestation.

Indian Meal Moths Food moths large image 190 by 190 Indian meal moth 190 by 190

Photo from – www.socalpestadvice.com

Innovative Pest Management serves the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland area. Call us at (240) 755-0077 to schedule a free quote or appointment.