Indian Meal Moths

Actual Size: 16 mm wingspan

Characteristics: Distinctive copper or bronze-colored scales on up to 1/3 of front wings.

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Generally found near stored food products and consumes dried foods like cornmeal, flour, and cereal.


  • Are the most common pantry pest in the U.S.
  • Found nearly everywhere in the world, except for Antarctica.
  • Adult moths do not eat, so the majority of damage to food products is caused by newly hatched larvae.
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Indian Meal Moths in Your Area

Indian meal moths are an extremely common pest that is found all over the world. They get their name from their habit of feeding on Indian maize cornmeal, though they also feed on other dried foods like flour, whole wheat, and crackers. Indian meal moths are very small in size and can be identified by their bronzish or coppery coloration on the lower half of their wings. Though adults do not eat, larvae can consume a significant amount of dried foods, which can become a major nuisance.

Indian Meal Moth Habitat

Indian meal moths are not limited to one climate or location; rather, they are found everywhere in the world except for Antarctica. These moths will infest anywhere with access to dried food products, such as pet foods, birdseed, and flour. While feeding, Indian meal moths will also leave behind considerable amounts of silken webbing, which can be annoying to clean up.

Indian Meal Moth Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Indian meal moths are not aggressive and are not a major threat to human health. That said, they can spoil a lot of food in a short amount of time. Since females lay their eggs directly on top of food sources, they can cause a lot of damage very quickly. That’s why it’s important to eradicate infestations as quickly as possible. Because adult Indian meal moths do not eat, they may also fly into distant rooms of the house, which can cause homeowners to ignore their presence. If you notice the signs of Indian meal moths in your house, call your local pest control experts for help as soon as you can.