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Indian Meal Moth Identification & Prevention

What are Indian meal moths?

Indian meal moths are a type of pantry pest. Adults have a unique color pattern on their wings; the front half is brown or cream-colored, while the back half is a darker bronze. Adults measure 5/8 to 3/4 of an inch; larvae are about 1/2 of an inch long, and they have brown heads with pink, green, or yellow bodies.

an indian meal moth on a surface inside of a home in fort mill south carolina

The larval stage is responsible for most food contamination; after the adult female lays their eggs in a suitable food source, the larvae eventually emerge and begin feeding, contaminating the food with their saliva and excrement. Feeding larvae are easy to detect as you will see a silken webbing on the surface of the infested food.

Are Indian meal moths dangerous?

These pests aren’t known to transmit diseases and don’t cause damage to structures. However, no one wants to eat cereal from a box with Indian meal moth larvae. Indian meal moths are unwanted pests. Infested food stored in your home will become contaminated, and you should throw it away.

Why do I have an Indian meal moth problem?

The most common way Indian meal moths find their way into homes is inside of packaged food already infested with their eggs or larvae. Adults, however, sometimes find their way inside buildings through openings around windows and doors.

Where will I find Indian meal moths?

Things like cereal, cornmeal, grains, seeds, chocolate, birdseed, and dry pet food are all common food sources where females lay their eggs. Indian meal moths and other pantry pests are a common problem inside homes, food processing and storage facilities, restaurants, and grocery stores. Adults are most active around dusk and attracted to light. Inside homes, they rest on walls, ceilings, or around televisions or light fixtures.

How do I get rid of Indian meal moths?

If you are looking for pest control in the Charleston, SC area, turn to the local and experienced pest professionals at Aruza Pest Control. We offer home and business owners the benefits of comprehensive pest control, superior customer service, and the peace of mind that comes with our guaranteed services. Our eco-friendly solutions solve current pest problems and keep them from returning. For home and business owners who want to protect their property from Indian meal moths, contact Aruza Pest Control today!

How can I prevent Indian meal moths in the future?

In addition to our home pest control and commercial pest control services, use the following tips to prevent Indian meal moths on your property:

  • Remove dry goods from their original packaging and place them inside plastic or glass airtight containers.

  • Regularly clean out your pantry and get rid of expired food items.

  • Make sure to wipe down counters and vacuum floors daily.

  • Before purchasing dry goods from the store, inspect the packaging for holes or tears.

  • Prevent adults from finding their way inside by replacing torn screens and placing weatherstripping around windows and doors.


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