Indian Meal Moths

Plodia interpunctella
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What are Indian meal moths?

indian meal moth on the siding of a new jersey home

Indian meal moths are a common household pest in New Jersey that feeds on staple pantry items and stored products including cereals, grains, dog food, and spices.

What do Indian meal moths look like?

Adult Indian meal moths measure approximately ½ inch in length, have gray bodies, and are equipped with bi-colored wings that are reddish brown and bronze.  

Their larvae have brown heads and bodies that are usually off-white but may appear tinged with pink or green. They have been described as looking similar to caterpillars or worm-like.  

Are Indian meal moths harmful?

Though you are likely to notice adult Indian meal moths flying around your kitchen, they are not harmful. They do contribute to the overall problem when they deposit their eggs into stored products.

Eggs hatch larvae which are the problem. No, the larvae do not spread any known disease but they do infest and contaminate food and items such as the ones mentioned above.  The results of the contamination include spoiled food and the added cost of replacing infested items.

What causes Indian meal moths?

An infestation of Indian meal moths typically occurs when homeowners unknowingly bring home packages from the store that are already infested. Indian meal moths, like other pests, may also enter from outside. It should also be noted that these pests multiply quicker in humid conditions.

What are the signs of an Indian meal moth infestation?

  • Adult moths flying around your pantry or kitchen
  • Live bugs in food
  • Clumps formed by the webbing of groups of larvae          
  • Larvae crawling on walls or positioned in areas where wall meets ceiling

How do I get rid of Indian meal moths?

If you’re worried about an Indian meal moth infestation in your home, please contact Arrow Pest Control to schedule a free evaluation. Our locally owned and operated pest control company has been helping New Jersey homeowners get rid of Indian meal moths, confused flour beetles, and other stored product pests for almost 50 years. In fact, our home pest control plans target over 30 household pests including these food-infesting pests!

Can I prevent an Indian meal moth infestation?

In order to prevent an Indian meal moth infestation from taking route in your home, our pest control team recommends the following prevention tips:

  • Seal any gaps, cracks, and openings on the exterior of the house.
  • Clean out your pantry often and use the oldest foodstuffs first.
  • Store food in airtight containers after opening.
  • Inspect each food item you bring into your home.
  • At the grocery store, do not purchase food with packaging that is dented or otherwise damaged. 
Elena C.

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Elena C.
Manalapan, NJ
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