Indian meal moth

Indian meal moth infestation

Indian meal moth insect

The Indian Meal moth is known to be the one doing most harm from all stored product moths. It infests homes, warehouses, mills, restaurants, grocery stores, pet stores, seeds stores, etc… The damage caused by this pest id from the webbing of the food particles from the silken thread that the larvae spin while crawling and feeding. This makes the infested products unsuitable for consumption.

The Indian Meal moth is not dangerous to people or pets, however, the damage that the larva does on stored products makes them unsuitable for consumption. This pest could cause a significant loss of business when it infests large warehouses and food storage spaces or food manufacturing plants.

The usual signs of Indian Meal moth infestations are the web left from the larvae when feeding and crawling. Also, the actual larvae crawling on walls and ceilings, as well as the adult form – the moths which fly usually at night as they are attracted to light. They fly across pantries and kitchens and can be often mistaken for clothes moths.

Indian meal moth control

Commercial warehouse

The general best practice for prevention of Indian Meal moth infestation is to make sure that no grain products are stored for long periods of time or of they are, then regular checks should be performed to ensure there are no signs of infestation in or around them. For businesses dealing with stored grains it is important that they regularly check the stored products as the Indian Meal moth may feed and reproduce in the grain residue, which allows it to freely infest any newly stored grain product. This pest can decrease the value of the grain or make it completely unsuitable for purpose, which could cause significant losses to the business.

If you notice that you have a Indian Meal moth infestation at your property or commercial area it can be monitored and controlled using pheromone traps. They are laboratory replications of the moths own pheromones, which they use to communicate with each other. This way they get attracted and stick to the trap’s sticky surface, which allows for precise location and control of an infestation.

In case that an Indian Meal moth infestation is present and it has gone out of control, fumigation is recommended, so that all life stages of the pest can be exterminated and the infestation can be completely eradicated.

Prime Pest Control offers Indian Meal moth treatment, control and prevention services for residential and commercial customers across London and all surrounding counties. Our experienced pest technicians have been tackling Indian meal moth and other stored product infestation for several years now and are constantly ensuring they are up to date with the latest techniques and trends in the pest control industry. Trained by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), our technicians apply their knowledge, skills and expertise to create custom tailored, integrated pest management (IPM) scheme for the complete eradication of the Indian Meal Moth infestation. We always take into consideration all of the customer’s personal or business needs and requirements. Regardless of where is your business or residential property situated – North, South, West or East London, Prime Pest Control is able to provide swift and effective pest control.

About Indian meal moths

The Indian Meal moth (Plodia Interpunctella) have a length of their bodies between 8 mm and 10 mm at rest and between 18 mm and 20 mm when their wings are spread. The wings are reddish-brown colour at the tips and grey-yellow at the base. The size of the mature larvae is about 12.5 mm. The larvae have brown-black heads with elongated off-white, tinged pink or light green bodies. Until reaching pupation, the larvae can moult between four and seven times. The pupae are reddish-brown and are 8 mm to 10 mm in length. The eggs are between 0.3 mm and 0.5 mm and usually vary in colour between grey and off-white.

The adult female moths lay between 60 and 300 eggs around or inside stored products. It can take between 2 days and 2 weeks for the eggs to hatch and for the larvae (caterpillar-like) to start spreading around. They start feeding immediately, webbing the food they feed on. It is the larval stage that is considered the ‘pest-stage’. Depending on the conditions available, this stage can last between 2 and 41 weeks. Pupation is done in cracks and crevices and usually away from the food source, often in the area between the ceiling and the wall or on top of the cupboard, where they form a silken cocoon for the pupation. The adult Indian Meal moths come out of these same cocoons when they reach maturity. The whole life cycle of this pest takes between 4 weeks and 43 weeks. Depending on the temperature, there can be up to 5 generations per year. The Indian Meal moth does not like colder climates and if such is present, the larval stage lasts during the whole winter and pupation happens in March with the adult moths appearing in April. In general, colder climate extends the life cycle of the pest.