Indian meal moths are named not after India, but rather after their diet. Indian meal moth larvae feed predominantly on grains, such as “Indian-meal” also known as cornmeal. They are most commonly found in grain bins or grain storage, but have been known to feed on many foods commonly found in your pantry. They prefer tropical conditions, but can adapt to many different climates.
Adult Indian meal moths are small, only about a quarter of an inch in length, with their wingspan more than double that. They are usually rust or copper colored, but can also be dark brown or grey. As long as the temperature is above 50°, adult females can lay anywhere from 100 to 300 eggs at a time, typically directly on their food source. If the temperature is above 77° or below 68° delays in hatching could occur, but most eggs hatch anywhere between two days to two weeks. Indian meal moth larvae, when fully grown, can actually create silk, and will create their cocoons out of this threaded material. Adults hatch from these cocoons in around a week. In ideal conditions, an Indian meal moth lifespan is only 28 days, with the average lifespan of 50 days. This short life span leads to multiple generations of meal moths in just one year.
Control of Indian meal moths can be incredibly difficult. Larvae of these moths feed on a wide variety of grains, from cereal, bread and pasta to flour and spices. They have also been known to eat bird seed and pet food. Larvae of these moths have incredibly strong teeth and jaws, and can chew through thin plastic as well as cardboard. As a result, upon discovery of an infestation all foodstuffs not in tightly sealed containers must be thrown out. That alone is not enough to solve the problem, however, as the larvae do not always stay in the pantry area. Advanced Wildlife Control is here to help find all the areas where Indian meal moths and their larvae may be hiding, and get your house back to being pest free!
Did You Know?
Even chocolate isn’t safe from Indian meal moths and their larvae!