Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella)
The Indian Meal Moth is quite a pest to many homeowners. The
adult moth at rest is about 3/8 of an inch long, and has a wing span
of about 1/2 inch to 3/4 of an inch. This moth ranges in color, from
light gray, to grayish brown, and has bronze and reddish markings
on its wings. The eggs are a dirty white color and are very small,
about .3 to .5 millimeters long. The larvae or the “caterpillars” are
2/3 of an inch when mature, and are dirty white with dark brown or
black heads; the larvae may also have a pink or green tint. The
pupae are cocoon like, and are reddish-brown in color, measuring in
at about 3/8 of an inch long.
The female moth lays about 60 to 300 eggs either in a cluster or
separately. The eggs will hatch between 2 to 14 days, and either a
mature larvae or small white caterpillar will emerge. The larval stage
is also considered the “pest stage” because the larvae will get
themselves into foodstuffs and eat and continually web, sometimes
leaving behind food that is clumped together or leaving fecal matter
as it moves through the food.
When the larvae are ready to pupate, the larvae may leave the
feeding site to make their cocoon. Sometimes they travel
considerable distances to pupate, but they normally find a corner in
a wall, cupboard, or between floor boards when in the home. Once
the adult emerges from the cocoon, they will leave their feeding area
and mate again. Depending on weather conditions the life cycle can
last a period of four weeks or 300 days.
Indian Meal Moths are a common pest for homeowners. They get
into foodstuffs and damage is caused by the larvae spinning silken
threads as they feed and crawl, thus webbing food particles
together. Besides infesting all cereal food products and whole
grains, larvae also feed on a wide variety of foods and feeds such
as dried fruits, powdered milk, cornmeal, flour, raisins, prunes, nuts,
chocolate, candies, health food and seeds, bird seed, dog and cat
food, fish food, graham crackers, dried red peppers, pastas, etc.
These moths fly mostly at night and are attracted to lights and may
appear in the living room near or in front of television sets.
Occasionally, the larvae or "white worms with black heads" crawl up
walls and suspend from the ceiling attached to a single silken
thread. Other times, a few larvae may be found in a food package
along with unsightly webbing, cast skins and fecal pellets.
Serving : Barrie, Orillia, Wasaga Beach,Midland,
and Richmond Hill area
Call Us :
Pest Control Management