Indian Meal Moth


Adult Indianmeal moths are flying insects with a wing spread of 16 to 20 mm. The top half of the wings near its head is gray or tan coloured, and the lower half is reddish, copper-brown. The larvae is 9 to 19 mm long and have a dirty white, pinkish, or brownish colour depending on the food which it is consuming. The larvae have 5 pairs of legs and a brown head.


The adult Indianmeal moth causes no damage, whereas the larvae feed on grains, flours, cereals, nuts, sugar, dog food, and many other stored products which may be in a kitchen’s cupboards or pantry. The larvae are particularly attracted to dried fruits and coarser flours and grains. Larvae will create silk webbing in the foods in which they are infesting, and wander about in the home looking for sites in which to pupate into adult moths. The adult moth will lay 100 to 400 eggs at night in food material. After hatching the larvae will live for 13 to 200 days until it pupates into a mature adult moth.


Sanitation is the best prevention for the Indianmeal moth. Cupboards, pantries, and food storage and handling areas should be kept clean and vacuumed regularly and spills should be removed quickly. Store food products in containers with tight-fitting lids, made of glass, metal or plastic. To kill off any insects in imported dry food products, freeze them in a household freezer for at least a week before transferring the products to the cupboards.


Since these insects live in food and food preparation areas, a pest professional will assist you in determining which treatments will be effective and safe to control this pest.

Meal Moth Preparation Sheet

Copyright © 2008 Victoria Pest Control Ltd.

To achieve the best results from a pantry pest treatment, it is important to carry out the following steps:

Before the Treatment

You must inspect all dry food, opened and unopened packages, and dispose of those that are infested. Any dry foods that are not used within 3-4 weeks should be in sealed containers.

You must empty all kitchen cupboards and drawers. This includes any other areas that contain food materials such as pantry closets. Please inspect pet food areas as well.

Wash all cupboards and drawers and slit the edges of any shelf paper.

Keep counter tops clear.

Ensure that aquariums are removed or covered and that the filter and pump are disconnected.


When insecticide treatments are applied to enclosed areas or continuously occupied living or working spaces, people and pets should vacate for 4-6 hours. Pregnant women, Children under 2 years of age and people with respiratory problems or health concerns should vacate for 12-24 hours and consult their doctor. Pet birds should be out for 24 hours.

Following treatment

Ventilate upon re-entry to the treated area by opening doors and windows.

DO NOT wash cupboards for a minimum of 8 weeks following treatment.

Wash down all countertops.

Please Note

Pest activity may be observed for a couple of weeks after treatment. This is not unusual and may be due to newly hatched insects, which have not yet come into contact with the insecticide. The insects will eventually die. If you are still seeing activity after three weeks, contact our office and we will organize for any additional treatment that may be necessary.

Copyright © 2008 Victoria Pest Control Ltd. 501 Kelvin Road, Victoria BC V8Z 1C4