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Indian Meal Moths

You may have noticed some uninvited guests in your pantry. These guests may be Indian Meal Moths. Learning about these pests is the first step to fighting them, giving control of your pantry back to your family.

What do these pests look like?

  • - Adult moths are about 3/8-inch (8 to 10mm)long when at rest and have a wing spread of about 1/2 to 3/4 inch (18 to 20mm).
  • - When viewed from above with the wings folded over the back, they are primarily a light gray. They are most recognizable by the outer 2/3 of the wings which appear reddish-brown or bronze colored at the wing tips.
  • - The larvae or "caterpillars" are about 2/3 inch (12.5mm) when mature and dirty white, sometimes tinged pink or green.
  • - Pupae are reddish-brown and about 3/8-inch long.

Indian Meal Moths most often get into your pantry by "hitchhiking" home with you in a product that was already infested in the store or warehouse.

Now, you may be wondering what they do.

  • - Once in your home, the moths will spread and search for new places to lay eggs. You are likely to see them in the evening, attracted to lights or fluttering around your television screen.
  • - Besides infesting all cereal food products and whole grains, larvae also feed on a wide variety of foods and feeds such as dried fruits, powdered milk, cornmeal, flour, raisins, prunes, nuts, chocolate, candies, health food and seeds, bird seed, dog and cat food, fish food, graham crackers, dried red peppers, pastas, etc.

Prevention with the Pantry Pest Trap is the best defense, but if you find yourself with these visitors you should thoroughly check all food stores. Insects may be in unopened boxes or containers. Infested items such as bird seed or dog food can be salvaged by freezing for one week or heating to 140 degrees for at least 15 minutes. Try these solutions and see who uses your pantry most often.

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