Indian Meal moth

What is an Indian meal moth?

Adult Indian meal moths are small, just under a half an inch long on average, with a wingspan just slightly longer than the length of their bodies. Their wings are a light grey fading into bronze-y brown with distinguishable patterns in a blackish-brown.

Sometimes called Indian moths and otherwise known as Plodia interpunctella, the Indian meal moth got its colloquial name from how frequently it eats “Indian corn” or maize crops. A single female can lay up to 400 eggs after mating and upon hatching. Meal moth larvae are capable of completing their development into adults in just six to eight weeks.

Are Indian meal moths dangerous?

They won’t bite or sting you. They are not poisonous or venomous. What they are, however, is troublesome. Indian meal moths are capable of causing a good amount of damage. They’re known as surface feeders, which means that if they find a reliable source of food (such as what they can find in your kitchen or garage), they will keep coming back.

Indian meal moths leave behind spun silk that collects waste within the food they’ve infested. Nobody wants to eat contaminated food. In that way, they are potentially dangerous.

Why do I have Indian meal moths?

More than any other thing, these pests are motivated by their desire to find the dried goods in your home. They are food eating moths that  love bird seed, pet food, cereal, crackers, bread, pasta, rice, flour, spices, dried fruit, nuts, and the like. When these foods are easy to access in and around your home, they’re a huge draw for Indian Meal moths.


How do pantry moths start?Indian meal moth larvae infest a food container

Indian meal moths start by finding a way into your home via door or window cracks, torn screens, gaps in your foundation or utility access points. If they find a reliable food source, they will settle in and lay eggs. Unfortunately they prefer to lay their eggs in their food source so watch for webs and egg clusters in your stored food.

Indian meal moth eggs hatch in around a week. They then spend 2-30 moths in a larvae stage. Indian meal moth larvae are tiny, 1/2 inch worms that are brown or white. They make for an unpleasant surprise in your granola.

Eventually, the larvae will pupate – like a butterfly – and turn into adult moths.  You might notice tiny webbed cocoons during this phase of their life cycle.

What do Indian meal moth eggs look like?

They’re hard to see. Egg clusters may average 200-400 eggs but those eggs are each a fraction of a millimeter in size. The eggs are gray or off-white and most often laid directly in a food source.

How can I prevent Indian meal moths?

The best way to prevent Indian meal moths is to store food in your pantry correctly. They are a pantry pest, looking for reliable food sources.  Use airtight containers for dry goods like cereal, crackers, and pasta. If you have grain or other items stored outside, make sure the containers they’re stored in are secured against infiltrators. Don’t overlook pet foods.

Secondly, prevent Indian pantry moths from getting inside your home in the first place. Patch up and re-seal any cracks, holes, or openings along your home’s perimeter. Check around doors and windows where moths often get in.

How can Gregory Pest remove Indian meal moths from my home or business?

An expert from Gregory Pest Solutions will be your full-service pest solutions provider. We specialize in Indian meal moth eradication and prevention for your home or business.

When you hire us , one of our pros will  evaluate how extensive your home’s pest problem is and formulate an environmentally-friendly plan for removal and prevention. Once we implement our plan, our experts will make sure moths don’t come back, to ensure your family enjoys a lasting insect-free environment.

Where can I get help with Indian Meal moths?

Gregory Pest Solutions is located all throughout the southeastern United States. Our local technicians are ready and on hand to answer any of your local pest control needs. If your home state is included in the list below, give us a call any time you’re facing a pest problem.







Pests don’t have to interrupt your life. Give the team at Gregory Pest Solutions a call. We’ll get them out and things back on track in no time.

Ready to get Started? Our technicians are ready to get rid of your Indian Meal Moths for good. Schedule Service CALL 800-922-2596 Request a Quote