Most Wanted By PMP’s – Indian Meal Moth
Indian Meal Moth, Plodia interpunctella
AKA: Pantry moth, Weevil moth, Flour moth, or Grain moth
Criminally cryptic, these insidious instigators of food feeder felonies continuously corrupt consumables.
Description: With adult Indian Meal moths (IMM), one third of the wing toward the base is whitish-gray, and the other area reddishbrown with a coppery coloration. Hind wings are grayish. Wingspan is 3/8” to 5/8”. Larvae are dull-white and sometimes have a greenish or pinkish coloration. Larvae spin silken webbing as they feed. Webbing masses cling to food. Pupation is within silken cacoons. Eggs are placed singly or in clutches upon food.
Life Cycle: Complete metamorphosis or egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Development is about six to eight weeks.
Habitat: Predominantly farinaceous grain products, food processing, and finished products.
Food: Includes dried fruits, nuts, cereals, oilseeds, powdered milk, chocolate, pet foods, and many others.
Range: Throughout North America and globally. Particularly within food processing facilities, grocery stores, and kitchens.
Unique behavior: Adult moths are nocturnal and attracted to light. Larvae can be similar in color to what they feed upon if food ingredients include color dyes.
Significance: IMM is the number one stored product pest (SPP) and a threat to food production facilities as well as numerous levels of food production. Infestations can occur, and can even be common, within processed and packaged human and pet foods.
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