Photo by Melody

Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Pyralidae
Genus: Plodia
Species: interpunctella


No positives
No neutrals
2 negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Barling, Arkansas
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Osage Beach, Missouri

By C_A_Ivy
Thumbnail #1 of Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella) by C_A_Ivy

By C_A_Ivy

Thumbnail #2 of Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella) by C_A_Ivy

Member Notes:

Negative Magpye On Aug 21, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR
(Zone 6a) wrote:

It often infests dried fruits, nuts, cereals, powdered milk, chocolate, birdseed, and dry pet food, and it is considered the number one moth pest of processed dried fruits in storage. The larvae of these moths seldom attack whole kernels. They prefer broken and damaged grains or processed cereal products. The adults have a wingspan of about 5/8, and they are easily identified by the forewing pattern, with the basal third whitish gray, and the distal two-thirds darker and bronze. In an infested home, these small moths may be seen flying past lamps and television and computer screens at night.

The larvae, which are often referred to by the general public as 'white worms', spin silk in the foods in which they breed, often webbing together nuts, grains, and flour with strands of silk.

Mature, half-inch caterpillars leave their food supply and wander about looking for a place to pupate. Larvae seen on cupboards, ceilings, and counters are often the first indication of an infestation.

Negative Malus2006 On Jan 23, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN
(Zone 4a) wrote:

Mainly a household pest. They come with birdseed, often infecting them during the warm season and then come in the house to infect dry procucts. Can be hard to get rid of. They were cured in my house only by putting spices, etc that is vulnerable in the refrigator and clean up every crumbs. They will squeeze in even tight - looking caps like baby proof caps and turning type. The larvae will climb up walls and then pupae on the celing, leaving behind silk that can be mistaken for house spider silk but more common. Adults are drab tan and flies in the house - unmistake in winter time when it is very cold. Strongly resembles cutworm moths. Scented baits can reduce the numbers of adults but also caution need to be taken as adults can be drawn to scented baits from infected bird feeders from outside. Additonal information: Throw away any dried food that have silk, caterpillars, feces in them.

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