BugsIndian Meal Moths:

Description: Indian meal moth adults have a 5/8-3/4 inch wing spread. The wings are a burnished copper, almost purple with a broad gray band near where they attach to the body.

Biology: The adult females lay 100 to 400 eggs at night on the larval food over a one to 18-day period. Larval development requires 13 to 288 days. The average life cycle, egg to adult, requires 25 to 135 days. There are usually four to six generations per year depending on the food supply and temperature. The adults are more active at night and are attracted to light.

Habits: Indian meal mother are one of the most common stored product pests found in homes, food processing plants, grain storage and processing facilities. The larvae prefer to feed on coarsely ground flour and meal but commonly feed on whole grains, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, beans, crackers, biscuits, dry dog food, bird seed, and red peppers.

The larvae produce silk webbing over the surface of the materials upon which they are feeding. The webbing contains large amounts of their frass (feces). The damage caused by this insect’s feeding is compounded by the presence of this repulsive material. The larvae move into cracks and crevices in the food material, feeding within or near this silken material.