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Indian Meal Moth

(Plodia interpunctella)

Appearance:

When viewed from above with the wings folded over the back, the outer 1/3 of the wing appears reddish-brown colored at the wing tips, while the inner 2/3 of the wing is light gray to yellow. The Indian meal moth is often mistaken by homeowners for a fabric pest, such as the webbing clothes moth.

Size:

Up to 5/8-inch in length.

Behavior:

Sometimes mistaken as clothes moths, the Indian meal moth is the most common moth of stored, dried foods and is often found in homes. Adult Indian meal moths tend to rest quietly on walls and ceilings and avoid light. This moth is a weak flier and normally becomes active in low light conditions or after dusk.

The Indian meal moth lays between 60 and 300 eggs on or near food sources. Eggs hatch in 2 to 14 days with larvae or "tiny whitish caterpillars" dispersing within a few hours. They construct webbing cases or tunnels throughout infested food, usually rendering it unusable.

Habitat:

The Indian meal moth usually enters homes in bags of infested foods or boxes. This moth will infest grains, cereal, pet foods, flour, corn meal, and bird seed. Not only homes, but restaurants, grocery stores, warehouses, pet stores, seed companies, mills, etc. can become infested.

Damage Caused:

The Indian meal moth is considered the most troublesome of the grain-infesting moths. Damage is caused by the larvae spinning silken threads as they feed and crawl, thus webbing food particles together and ruining them.

Control

Do you live in South Florida and think that this pest may be invading your home? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty pest control treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!

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