How to Identify Indianmeal Moths


The Indianmeal Moth is a surface feeder. The larvae, or caterpillars, are the damaging stage. The adult moth does not feed, although it will drink water. The caterpillars are flesh tone without any patterning, while the adults have wings which are half tan and half copper-colored.


Indianmeal moths attack a wide variety of food to include dog food, almonds, oatmeal, dried fruit, and spices. Infested foods are covered in silk and fecal pellets. When the caterpillars have grown large enough to pupate, they wander away from the food source and spin their cocoons in dry, sheltered areas.


Some stored product pests – like the Indianmeal Moth – can fly and easily move an infestation around the house leading to the loss of many stored foods. Others, like mites, can only crawl, so an infestation will be confined to a single area or take longer to spread. Some stored product pests only eat mold and may indicate a moisture issue. For this reason, identification is important, although most problems can be solved by finding and discarding all infested items and placing all non-infested, susceptible items in airtight containers.


Solving a stored product pest problem is straightforward. The source of the infestation must be found and eliminated. In many cases, there are multiple sources. Infested foodstuffs should be thrown away or frozen. Freezing is acceptable for items that aren’t meant for human consumption, such as dog food or wild bird seed.

When throwing away infested foods, be sure to immediately discard them outside. Throwing away food inside can result in pantry pests emerging from your trash can and perpetuating the problem, especially if the trash sits inside for several days.


A professional treatment is the best way to control Indianmeal Moths in a given area. Cook’s Pest Control offers professional treatment for the control of Indianmeal Moths. Our technicians are thoroughly trained to address your Indianmeal Moth problems.

Don’t waste time and money on over-the-counter remedies or unprofessional service. Call Cook’s, the South’s reliable pest control service. We provide free pest identification and free evaluations with no obligation!

About Stored Product Pests

  • Stored food pests feed on dried goods and food items, like bird seed, dried beans, dog food, pancake mix, cereal, rice, and chocolate.
  • These pests can be a year-round nuisance because they live and breed within food in our temperature-controlled houses.
  • Most of them generate enough water to survive simply by digesting food, so they can prosper in food that is almost devoid of moisture.