Indian Meal Moths: Damages and How to Trap Them

Indian meal moth with nuts

The Indian meal moth is one of the common pests that are usually present in the stored products. There are unlimited infestations of Indian meal moths, but the common one is pantries. These pests can easily get into the grocery stores, grain storage spaces, plants of food processing and other various places where food is present.

In biology term, an Indian meal moth also known as Plodia interpunct Pella. It is from the family of moth which is called Pyralidae. There are many alternate names given to these moths. Many people know these moths as weevil moth, grain moth, pantry moth and flour moth. These moths are grain feeding pests that are present over the world.

The adult Indianmeal moths are 8–10 mm long in length yet with 16–20mm wingspans. Their outer halves of fore wings are of copper, bronze and dark gray in the shade. However, their upper half is of grayish yellow color with a band of dark color at the intersecting point. These larvae of these moths are in the shade of off-white but with brown heads. There are total 7-9 larval instars. When these larvae get mature, they come into 12 mm of length. They have total five pairs of properly developed prologs which help them to move easily from distant places.

The complete lifecycle of Indianmeal moths might take 30-300 days. The females lay up to 60-450 eggs on the food sources. These eggs are not so sticky as well as they are smaller than 0.5 mm. The eggs may take 2-15 days to hatch up. The stage of larva ends up from 2-42 weeks. Nevertheless, the hatching and larval stages depend on a lot on temperature.

Indian Meal Moth Damage

Indian Meal Moth Life Cycle

The Indian meal moth can cause much damage to the grain. The direct damage to the grain is the result of the larvae as it feeds on the seed germ. Indianmeal moth feeds on the grain which reduces the dry weight. At this moment, the weight of grain might increase due to the absorption of water. The increase in the content of water mold can cause a serious problem. The contamination by larvae can result in a reduction of value as it leaves silken webs and droppings in the grain. When selling grains, the presence of these Indianmeal moths can give rise to dockage.

How to Get Rid Of Indian Meal Moth

As now we know about the damage caused by these moths, the other thing to consider is to get rid of them. There are various ways which can be helpful in reducing or eliminating Indian meal moths. Well, the main and common methods are following:

1. Sanitation

Sanitation is a common method to minimize the need to use pesticides. Sanitation can not only help in eradicating Indian meal moths but all pests. A proper sanitation method includes the elimination of the old grain and dust not only in the grain bin but around it as well. Sanitation is imperative before storing new grain. Sanitation includes the removal of grain from floors, walls as well as corners. If you leave any grain when the bin gets empty, then it can harbor the pest infestations which will go into the new grain.

2. Freezing & Heating

You can use freezing and heating method to eliminate Indian meal moths effortlessly. You only have to put your food items in the freezer for two days. After two days of freezing, you need to put the food items at room temperature for another two days. Again you have to put these items into your freezer for next two days.

Freezing – Freezing can also help in getting rid of these pests. You can easily put your items in your freezer at least for four days.

Indian meal moth trap

Heating – You have to place your food items into the oven at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour only. You can also set a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit but the time duration will be 2 hours. You have to keep stirring your food to make certain that the heat penetrates all food yet does not burn at the surface. If you need to kill Indian meal moths on the outside of your food like dry fruits, then you might have to place them into a cheesecloth bag. After placing your food in the cheesecloth, you have to set it into the boiling water for 10-20 seconds.

3. Chemical Control

After inspection and changing the place of your food items, you have to use chemical sprays on the shelves, floors, and corners properly. You also need to spray around the pantry as well. It will help in preventing the Indian meal moths from infesting the upcoming packages of food. You need to follow the whole procedure of identifying and inspecting these moths before using any chemical sprays. Apply the chemical sprays and insecticides to each crack and crevices of the racks, cupboards, and shelves to stop the infestations of future. Microcare Aerosol and CB-80 Aerosol are the famous and effective chemical sprays.

4. Biological Control

It is not compulsory to use chemicals to remove Indian meal moths. You can also use of essential oils, and non-chemical pantry moth sprays as well. It is an effective method to deal with infestations by eradicating the source and the affected foods.

Commercial Repellents

There are diverse commercial repellents available in the market. However, Indian meal moth traps seem to be the exact method to kill these pests. These traps are very effective as they are made of pheromone impregnated strips of glue present on the paper or cardboard. Pheromones are used to pull towards the male moths and trap them up. Due to this reason, mating will be next to impractical.

1. Pantry Gypsy Moth Trap

Pantry Gypsy moth trap product on white background

These traps include a strong pheromone lure which is used to attract the moths. When the moths come on it, then they are trapped on the sticky surface and die at once. Every pantry moth trap has a package in which there are total two traps of glue. Also, it contains two wrapped up pheromone lures. You can use one lure for every trap by just pressing the lure into the trap center. After that, you have to put the trap in those areas where moths are present or teeming. If you want to get the top results, then you have to replace the traps after two months. You can also change the trap whenever it gets dirty or full of moths.


  • Secure for humans yet hazardous to moths
  • Non-chemical adhesive traps
  • Disposable
  • Simple to utilize


  • Pantry moth traps function consistently for up to 2 months.
  • Maintaining your meals free from contamination.
  • Removes various kinds of moths.
  • Every trap is little and secure. You just have to position in the pantry which is in need of moth control.

2. CB-80 Contact Aerosol

CB-80 Contact Aerosol has earned a good reputation in the insecticides market. It is used to kill different kinds of pests like Indian meal moths. It is perfect as a crack spray. It has a strong effect on the pests.

CB-80 contact aerosol product on floor

It has a synergist which is known as piperonal butoxide. It maximizes the killing power of the pyrethrin present in CB 80. CB-80 Contact Aerosol is approved because they can easily be used around the food items. It is one of the safest insecticides which can be used for any food item. Pyrethrin is a component that also contains considerable intrinsic repellency of pests. It can be used on the corners and floors where you have observed Indianmeal moths. Pyrethrin and synergists are recyclable, and they quickly fragment in the air.


  • Rapid action to kill moths of all types.
  • It kills Indian meal moths, flies, cockroaches, lizards and mice.
  • Easy to use in home, office, hospitals, schools and Kitchens.
  • Human friendly


Indianmeal moths can be very harmful to humans, so they have to eradicate as soon as possible. It is important first to observe their place. When you have done the entire identifying method, then you have to move to the removing process. You can use any methods like chemical, non-chemical, sanitation and others to get rid of these moths. Pantry Gypsy Moth Traps and CB-80 Contact Aerosol are also useful to kill these pests easily.

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