Indian Meal Moths

What are Indian meal moths?

Indian meal moths are a common type of pantry or stored product pest that live and invade food sources across the world. Adult Indian meal moths grow to about 5/8th of an inch from wingtip to wingtip. They have distinct looking wings that help to identify them, which have a dark band that separates their front wing from their back wing. The front portion of the wing is yellowish-gray in color, while the back half of the wing is bronze, copper, or dark gray in color.

an indian meal moth inside a kitchen in henderson north carolina

Their worm-like larvae grow to be about 1/2 an inch in length. Their bodies can be off-white, brown, greenish, or pinkish in color. Their head and thorax is a yellowish-brown color. It's during the larval stage that Indian meal moths feed on pantry items and cause the most damage and contamination.

Are Indian meal moths dangerous?

Indian meal moths are not dangerous pests, as they don’t bite, sting, or transmit any known diseases. However, they are an invasive pests that contaminate food sources with their larvae, eggs, excrement, and saliva. Females lay their eggs directly on or inside packaged food. Once the larvae hatch they begin to feed on the stored food product it was laid in. Eliminating these pesky creatures from your home as quickly as possible is important. At the first sign of adults or larvae in your home, contact a pest control expert.

Why do I have an Indian meal moth problem?

Adult Indian meal moths are attracted to light. They often find their way inside homes through spaces around windows and doors, open doors, or through torn screens. They can also be accidentally introduced into your home through products purchased at the store that are already infested with their eggs or larvae.

Where will I find Indian meal moths?

Indian meal moths live where there is food for them to feed on. Grocery stores, farmers' markets, bulk stores, restaurants, and food storage facilities can all become a feeding and breeding ground for Indian meal moths. Their larvae feed on a range of dry goods, including dried fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, dry pasta, chocolate, candies, bird seed, dry pet food, powdered milk, and spices.

How do I get rid of Indian meal moths?

To eliminate Indian meal moths, partner with an experienced pest control professional. At Pest & Termite Consultants, we offer the modern services needed to solve your property’s Indian meal moth problem. Our qualified professionals provide accurate identification, cost estimates, and perform effective residential pest control treatments. To learn more about our Indian meal moth control services and how they can protect your Raleigh-area home from invasive Indian meal moths, reach out to us!

How can I prevent Indian meal moths in the future?

To discourage Indian meal moths from choosing your home to live in, we suggest doing the following:

  • Place weather stripping around windows and doors.

  • Repair torn screens.

  • Replace white outdoor lighting with yellow light bulbs that are less attractive to insects.

  • If possible, avoid purchasing items from bulk bins.

  • Remove dry goods from their original packaging, and store them in glass or plastic containers with air-tight lids.

  • Regularly clean kitchen and pantry areas, and get rid of expired food items.

  • Immediately discard any food that is infested with Indian meal moth eggs or larvae.


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