Indianmeal moth on grain

Indianmeal moths are the most commonly encountered pest of stored products. The adult moth causes no damage; however larvae attack grain and grain products, dried fruit (they seem to love raisins), crackers, powdered milk, chocolate, dry dog food, bird seed and more. Each adult female moth may lay 100 to 400 eggs in a period of 1-18 days. Don’t ignore them!

Indian meal moths are a little longer than of a grain of rice. Wings are pale gray. The lower half of the wings are reddish brown with a coppery luster.

Indianmeal moth

Indianmeal moth. Note the coppery luster on the lower half of the closed wings.

Larvae are about 1/2 inch long and a dirty white color. The larva feeds in or near a tunnel-like case it has webbed together from frass and silk. This webbing is one obvious sign that a stored product is infested with Indianmeal moth larvae.

When a larva is ready to pupate, it leaves the the food source and searches for a crack or crevice in which to spin a cocoon.

How to Get Rid of Indianmeal Moths

The best way to get rid of an average infestation of Indianmeal moths is to thoroughly examine ALL stored food products for signs of infestation and throw out any infested food. These moths can easily enter pasta boxes, containers of oatmeal, bags of flour, and candy bars in order to lay their eggs.

Indianmeal moth in mixed grain

Can you spot the Indianmeal moth in this bowl of mixed grain? It’s not much larger than the brown rice.

Also, Indianmeal moth eggs may be present in food you bring home from the grocery store. More than one person has stored cornmeal in a tightly sealed contain only to discover later that it is infested with Indianmeal moth larvae. Indianmeal moths may have laid eggs in the cornmeal in an earlier point in the food chain. The good news is that by storing the cornmeal in a tightly sealed container, the infestation will have been contained and is easily destroyed.

Indianmeal moth larva size near penny

In addition to getting rid of infested food, thoroughly clean the interior of kitchen cabinets with soap and water, paying special attention to corners, edges, cracks, and the holes for adjustable shelves in order to eliminate any cocoons.

Indianmeal moth cocoon



At Thrasher Termite and Pest Control, we make homes healthy through effective pest control, termite inspections, and termite control.  No gimmicks, no nonsense, and when we’re done, no pests. Satisfaction Guaranteed. We’re licensed, bonded and insured. Our family owned business has offices in Silicon Valley

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