The Indianmeal moth is among the most important and common stored product pest in the United States. Infestations of Indianmeal moths are not limited to pantries inside homes. Indianmeal moths can thrive in grocery stores, food processing plants, grain storage facilities, and other areas where food is available.
Indianmeal Moths are among the most common stored-product pests in the United States. Indianmeal moths thrive in grocery stores, food processing plants, grain storage facilities, and other areas where dry food is available, including homes that have exposed pet food.
Although the adult moths do not feed, they reproduce and lay eggs on various food materials. However, Indianmeal moth larvae are general feeders and cause the most damage by their feeding and breeding habits. Besides consuming food, larvae also leave behind their feces, shed skins, silk threads, and other debris.
The Indianmeal moth often is confused with the clothes moth. However, the clothes moth attacks clothing rather than dried food.
Adult Indianmeal moths are about 3/8 inch long with a 5/8 to ¾ inch wingspan. Adults are easily distinguished by the color of their wings. The outer half of the wing is reddish-brown colored and the inner half of the wing is grayish-white colored. The mature Indianmeal moth larvae are about ½ inch long and dirty white, pink brown or light green. The head and top of the first body segment behind the head are reddish brown or yellowish brown depending on its food.