Indian Meal Moth

Indian Meal Moth

Indian Meal Moth

Size: Up to 5/8 inch in length
 
Color: The front wing of an Indian meal moth is a reddish copper color on the outer two-thirds.

About Indian Meal Moth Behavior

A female Indian meal moth lays 100-400 eggs on food materials during her life span. The larvae grow to ¾ inch in length and have greenish tinge in appearance. They construct webbing cases or tunnels throughout infested food, usually rendering it unusable. At maturity, the larvae crawl out of infested foods and wander on walls, floors, etc. in search of a site to pupate. The fine silk cocoon, which houses a brownish pupa, is often located in corners, in crevices and behind items against or hanging on walls. If the larvae are unable to find their way out of the food package, they will pupate within that container. The life cycle lasts from 25 to 135 days depending on factors such as temperature and food quality. Adult Indian meal moths tend to avoid light and rest quietly on walls and ceilings. This moth is a weak flier and becomes active after dusk or in low light conditions.
 
The Indian meal moth is the most common moth of stored dried foods and is the pest moth most often seen in homes. This moth usually enters homes in boxes or bags of infested foods. It appears in all points of the food processing chain from the grain silo to the food plant to the warehouse to the supermarket shelf and ultimately into restaurants, homes and other end-users of food products. This moth infests a wide variety of food items including flour, cereal, nuts, grains, chocolate, birdseed and dried pet foods. It is also present outdoors, occurring naturally and has been known to invade buildings from outside.
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