Pantry Moth

Idian Meal Moth
Indian Meal Moth
(Plodia interpunctella)

The adult Indian meal moth has a wingspan of about 20 mm. The front wings of the resting adult lie flat along the length of the body. The top third of the resting adult is whitish-gray while the remaining two-thirds is reddish-brown.

Adults fly in a zig zag fashion when disturbed. The tiny eggs are white and flattened sideways. The full-grown larvae are about 13 mm long and yellow-white in color with a brown head. The body color may vary from a greenish to a pinkish hue, depending on the food source. The cocoon is an oval shaped capsule that mature larvae spin around themselves.

Adult moths usually emerge, mate, and lay eggs at night. Females lay between 60 to 400 eggs over a 20 day period. The eggs are laid individually or in groups on or around the infested material. Eggs hatch within 4 - 8 days and the hatching larvae immediately begin searching for food.

Larvae maturity depends on temperature and food availability, and can take between 20 to 70 days. Mature larvae usually leave their food supply to pupate. The life cycle can occur in as few as 27 days or as long as 300 days. There are generally four to six generations a year.


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