What to Know When Handling an Indian Meal Moth Infestation


One of the most common pests people can find in their kitchen or pantry in the Indian meal moth. They eat items such as cornmeal, pet food, grain, flour and more. There are two common ways an Indian meal moth gets into a person’s home. They can arrive in a house inside packed food items that are infested. Immature species are able to get inside packages in stores or during shipment as they try to look for something to eat.

Pest Control
According to Orkin, controlling this type of moth will start with a thorough inspection of the areas where there is an infestation. Close inspection needs to be done with items that have been in a home’s cupboards for an extended period of time. It’s also essential to check any food items that are loosely closed or have thin wrapping. There are situations when all of the food in a certain area will need to be thrown away. Any food that has an infestation must be removed. Cleaning the entire area with a strong cleanser and hot water is also essential. Any holes found should be sealed. The larvae of the Indian meal moth can infest in cracks, behind any appliance as well as behind decorations and more.

Prevention And Extermination
There are a number of effective traps that can be used to prevent an infestation of Indian meal moths. According to the website pestkill, many stores will offer a variety of repellents. This could include glue bait moth traps, sticky glue traps as well as pheromone moth traps and more. In some cases, chemical sprays are effective. It’s important the pest is properly identified as well the area where it is located. Chemical insecticides can be applied to the cracks and open areas of cupboards and shelves. This could help prevent future infestations.

Insect Growth Regulator (IGR)
This product can be placed in cracks and other openings. It is also able to be applied to the surface of areas affected with Indian meal moths. This product is designed to stop the life cycle of the moth at the pupal stage. IGR is effective and will end the insect’s life cycle. This type of product is not designed to produce quick results. It is designed to provide an ability to control an infestation in the long term. IGR is most effective when the source of an infestation is unable to be isolated. It can be effective in ending the life cycle of Indian meal moths for over three months.

Life Cycle
According to Indian Meal Moth Products and Control Spray, “The life cycle of the Indian meal moth can last from 24 days up to 134.” It is estimated that a single moth can lay over 375 eggs during an 18 day period. It is possible for anything located in a kitchen or pantry not canned or properly sealed to be infested with Indian meal moths. Temperature plays a role in the moth’s life. In the hot months of summer, it may take over six weeks for a moth’s eggs to develop. These moths often live for a period of six days. Their goal during this time is to reproduce. They can often be spotted crawling around looking for a place to make their cocoons.

Additional Efforts
To prevent an Indian meal moth infestation, it will take a routine of maintaining good storage conditions. All bulk and dry foods should be placed tightly into a container. When done correctly, this will prevent moths from crawling inside the food products to feed. It’s also important to not buy any food products with packaging that is damaged. A package that has been damaged could be infested with Indian meal moths. This would bring them into a person’s home. All containers that are old and used should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and hot water prior to having fresh food stored in them. Old and new food products should not be mixed. This will help to eliminate chances of an infestation.

Once an infestation has been located and removed, it’s important the area is carefully vacuumed. All the corners of the cabinet, as well as shelves and any other area that is adjacent and used for food storage, must me thoroughly vacuumed. Once this task is complete, the vacuum bag needs to be thrown out and replaced with a new one prior to using the vacuum again.