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Have a Indian Meal Moth Problem?


The Indian Meal Moth is a small gray moth with a rusty-brown coloring on the bottom third of its wings, making it easy to distinguish from other moth species. The adult is not a h3 flier and avoids light.

The female Indian Meal Moth lays tiny eggs near or in dried foods, usually cereals, grains, nuts, herbs, and pet foods. The larvae hatch and feed during their initial stages of development where they create tunnels through the food with the same webbing they will later spin to create their cocoons. Then the caterpillar-like larvae crawl out in search of a place to pupate, often in a corner, crevice or behind a wall hanging.

The Indian Meal Moth larvae are able to chew through plastic and cardboard packaging to get to a food source.


Gray with rusty brown



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The Indianmeal moth life cycle is described as complete metamorphosis; egg, larval (caterpillar), pupal and adult stage. The adult is a small moth, about 3/8 inches long with a wingspan of about 5/8 inches. The wing color is generally gray but the rear half of the wing is rusty brown or nearly bronze. This wing pattern allows Indianmeal moths to be easily distinguished from other household moths. The larval stage is usually cream colored, sometimes with yellowish-green or pinkish shades, and has a dark brown head. Larvae may be seen as they wander in search of a place to pupate, or pass through the pupal stage. Often, the larval and pupal stages are seen on walls and where the wall and ceiling meet.

Control Advice

Inspect dry food goods carefully before purchasing or eating and store in airtight containers. Discard infested food and inspect other dry food goods in the area. Clean food storage area thoroughly.

Active Seasons

The Indian Meal Moth is most active in summer.

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