Indian Meal Moth


Actual Size: 16 mm wingspan

Characteristics: Tiny insects. Outer half of front wing covered with copper to bronze scales.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Infests pantries and are often found in cornmeal, course flour, and cereal.


  • Found more often than any other pantry pest in the United States.
  • Found on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Adults do not eat; all damage is done by their larvae.

Indian Meal Moths in San Angelo

The Indian meal moth is a worldwide pest, named for its consumption of Indian corn or maize meal. Its distinct wing pattern sets it apart, with the rear half of the wings displaying a noticeable copper or bronze hue. These moths are general feeders, consuming grains, grain products, dried fruits, seeds, graham crackers, nuts, powdered milk, chocolate, and candies. Infestations at home can originate from almost any food source, often starting with dried pet food or birdseed.

Indian Meal Moth Habitat

The Indian meal moth is the prevalent moth infesting food in homes, grocery stores, and areas with stored pet food. Adult moths do not consume, while their larvae continuously feed on grains, enveloping the food in extensive silk webbing. It favors coarser flours, making it a frequent inhabitant of whole wheat, graham flour, and cornmeal packages. Nuts, particularly those stored by squirrels in attics and chimneys, are also a typical breeding ground.

Indian Meal Moth Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Indian meal moths do not bite or pose significant health threats, yet they can become bothersome in homes by invading grains and stored pantry items. The larvae cause notable harm by contaminating food and leaving silken webs on products. The waste from this contamination can exceed the amount of consumed food. The presence of flying adults is a typical indicator of an infestation. These moths are drawn to light and might travel to distant rooms, leading to misconceptions that they are clothing pests.

If an infestation is present in your San Angelo home, locate and discard all infested material. Contact your local pantry pest control experts for help or advice with Indian meal moths!