The Indian Meal Moth is seen more frequently than any other stored food and grain pantry insect. The most typical method they get into houses is through store-bought items that have already been infested with Indian meal moth larva. Once Indian meal moths have entered your home, they will infest other foods in your pantry, causing a major problem. Pantry moths (5/8 inch wingspan) are pale grey in appearance and have a reddish-brown or coppery shine on their outer forewing that distinguishes them from other grain-infesting moths. Larvae have brown heads and are dirty white in appearance, sometimes tinted with green, yellow, or pink when fully developed (1/2 inch). They are a very active species.
Adult females lay up to 300 eggs near or on food sources. Larvae hatch in two weeks and begin actively eating. Silken threads are spun throughout the contaminated meals as they travel, which can get matted with webbing. Small moths are frequently seen zigzagging around kitchens and other interior locations.
They're also common in commercial food processing plants and warehouses where nut, grain, or cocoa-based items are processed. They eat cereals, whole grains, dried fruits, pet meals, birdseed, dry milk, and almonds, among other things.
The Indian meal moth may cause serious harm to a variety of foods. The larvae hatch after the adult female lays eggs in the food. The larvae can wreak havoc on food. The larvae cause damage by spinning silken threads as they eat and move, tying the food particles together.
The only method to keep Indian meal moths at bay is to find and remove affected objects. Errant caterpillars, cocoons, and food sources must all be removed, which necessitates a complete cleaning. Because of the risk of sickness from eating tainted food, no one advocates spraying pesticides in cabinets or food places. Taking all food products out of the cupboards and going through them one by one is a good method. Pay extra attention to things purchased "in bulk" or in open or weakly sealed containers. Look over each item for webbing and caterpillars. Discard anything that is infested and take the trash out right away.