An indian meal moth against a white background - Keep moths away with Kona Coast Pest Control in Kailua Kona

Indian Meal Moth

Actual Size: 16 mm wingspan

Characteristics: The outer half to one-third of the front wing is covered with copper to bronze scales.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Infests coarse flour, whole wheat, cornmeal, and nuts.


  • 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 constantly eating larvae.

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Indian Meal Moths in Kailua Kona

The Indian meal moth is named after the tendency for the moth to eat the meal from Indian corn or maize. The moth is a global pest that is easily identified with its unique characteristics. This includes a wing pattern where the bottom half of the wing is copper or bronze-colored. The primary diet of the moth includes grain and grain products, seeds, dried fruits, nuts, graham crackers, candies, and powdered milk chocolates. The infestations that occur in homes can be linked to any food source but most commonly begin in birdseed or dried pet food.

Indian Meal Moth Habitat

Regarding food-infesting moths, the Indian meal moth is the most commonly found in grocery stores, homes, or wherever dried pet foods are produced or stored. The moth prefers a coarse product, so they are usually found in whole wheat, cornmeal, and graham flour. It is also common to find nuts used for a source of breeding and can be found in nut caches of squirrels in a chimney or attic.

Indian Meal Moth Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

The Indian meal moth is a nuisance pest as they infest stored pantry products. The larvae are the most destructive as they are responsible for contaminating the food and leaving behind the silken webbing in the food product. The moth does not bite or pose a health risk to humans or animals. A common sign of an infestation is noticing a flying adult in your home. The adults are attracted to light and are known to fly into other areas of the home, away from the infestation. This leads many to mislabel these moths as a clothing moth, when in fact they are pantry pests.

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