Indian Meal Moths

A common moth found in pantries across North America, the Indian meal moth infests stored food products. With a reddish brown body and a copper luster, this moth is readily identified.


Pest Description

Indian Meal Moth Habits

This moth will go after almost any food source, including grains, flours, and even pet food. They will chew through cardboard and plastic to get to a viable food source. Indian meal moths lay their eggs in the food itself, and larvae will hatch in warm conditions.

These moths are nocturnal, which also makes it difficult to spot them. An Indian meal moth infestation can go for months without being detected, if it occurs within a large warehouse. These moths are very small, and most infestations won’t be noticed until a lot of damage has already happened.

Preventing Indian Meal Moths

The best way to avoid an infestation is to carefully inspect pantry items.
Before you purchase an item, check the bag or box for holes, and check the expiration date. Try not to buy large amounts of a food item if you’re not going to use it immediately. Regular pantry cleaning can help prevent an infestation from happening, as you can catch the signs of an insect problem before it grows.

Checking food supplies before or after purchase is really the only way to prevent Indian meal moths. Even then, it’s no guarantee, and we recommend frequent inspection of your pantry. If the eggs existed before the food was packaged, these moths could end up hatching in your pantry.

The presence of tiny white worms, sticky webbing, and fecal droppings on food substances are signs of an infestation, and you must take immediate action to avoid further infestation or damage.

Eliminating Indian Meal Moths

If these moths have taken over your home or business pantry, carefully seal all affected items, and remove them. If the infestation is large, it’s best to call professional exterminators. We can give you the best advice for eliminating the current problem, and avoiding future infestations. If your warehouse has been affected, call a professional exterminator immediately.