- Indian Meal Moths -
Indian Meal Moths
What are Indian meal moths?
How do I find them?
Can you tell me a bit about their biology?
The meal moth usually measures 3/8” long and has a wingspan of about 5/8.” They are easy to identify because of the rusty-red color covering the outer 2/3 of their body and gray coloring on the the inner 1/3 portion of their body.
A female meal moth will lay from 100 to 300 eggs during her lifetime. The eggs are laid either in groups or one at a time on food material and are difficult to see. For this reason, complete population control can be difficult to achieve at times.
The feeding stage of the life cycle, the caterpillar, is dirty white to pink in color and measures about a ½”. It can be identified by two distinct black mandibles that are present on its head. The caterpillar will leave behind a thread wherever it goes and eventually spins a web when it is full-grown. Normal room temperature and readily available nutrition cause the caterpillar stage to last from 2 to 5 weeks. When it is much colder, this stage can last for up to two years. After spinning the cocoon, the adult emerges in 30 days. There are 4-6 generations per year.