Indian Meal Moth - School IPM - USU Extension

    Indian Meal Moth

    Plodia interpunctella

    Indian meal moth

    Indian meal moth adult; note copper-colored wing tips (Mark Dreiling, Bugwood.org)

    Indian meal moth

    Indian meal moth larvae and adult (Clemson University, Bugwood.org)

    Identification

    • very tiny moth: 5/8 - 3/4 inch long
    • weak, meandering fliers
    • wings with copper-colored tips (use hand lens to see wing tips if necessary)
    • typically fly at night

    Nesting Habits

    • lay eggs on stored food products
    • pupate off food in food storage area, containers, etc.

    Diet

    • wide variety of stored food products
    • grains/grain products, cereals, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, powdered milk, biscuits, chocolate, candy, spices, dry pet food, bird seed, etc.

    Significance

    • very common in homes and food storage areas
    • larvae feeding destroys stored food items
    • contamination by larvae droppings and silken webs
    • moths are an annoyance to building occupants

    IPM Recommendations

    • Inspect all incoming food items for pests.
    • Clean up all spilled food products and food storage shelves and storage areas in general.
    • Store all susceptible food items in pest-proof containers.
    • Keep food in regular rotation.
    • Keep moisture low in food storage areas by improving ventilation.
    • Dispose of infested food items.
    • Indian meal moth traps can monitor and help control moths.

    Additional Resources

    IPM for Fabric and Pantry Pests: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)