indian meal moth pest control

Moths: Indian Meal Moth

  • Latin Name: Plodia interpunctella
  • Length: 8 – 10 mm
  • Color: outer half of their wings are bronze, copper, or dark gray; upper half are yellowish-gray, with a dark band between the two

How to get rid of Indian Meal Moth?

To get a pest problem under control, inspection is the first and foremost step.

To get a pest problem under control, inspection is the first and foremost step.

The Indian Meal Moth, also spelled Indian meal moth, is a moth of the family Pyralidae. Its larvae (caterpillars), commonly known as waxworms, are a common grain-feeding pest found around the world, feeding on cereals and dry grain products.

Female moths lay between 60 and 400 eggs on a food surface, which is ordinarily smaller than 0.5 mm and not sticky. The eggs hatch in 2 to 14 days. The moth larvae (known as waxworms) are off-white with brown heads. When these larvae mature, they are usually about 12 mm long. The larval stage lasts from 2 to 41 weeks, depending on the temperature. The entire life cycle may range from 30 to 300 days.

Moth Pest Control

The Indian meal moth larvae can infest a wide range of dry foodstuffs of vegetable origin.

After larvae or moths have been found, it is important to throw out all grains (cereal, bread, pasta, rice), spices, dried fruits (raisins), and any other food sources that are not in very tightly sealed containers. The moths are able to get into surprisingly tight spots, including sealed bags and Tupperware containers. The food they infest will often seem to be webbed together. They are also notoriously difficult to get rid of, and can even crawl on ceilings.

Last instar larvae are able to travel significant distances before they pupate. When seeking the source of an infestation, do not limit your searches to the immediate area where pupae are discovered.


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