The Indian Meal Moth (Plodiainterpunctella), alternatively spelled Indianmeal Moth, is a pyraloidmoth of the familyPyralidae. Alternative common names are North American High-flyer, Weevil Moth and Pantry Moth; less specifically, it may be referred to as “flour moth” or “grain moth”. The Almond Moth (Cadracautella) is commonly confused with the Indianmeal Moth.
Its larvae (caterpillars) are commonly known as “waxworms” like those of its relatives, though they are not the particular waxworms often bred as animal food. They are a common grain-feeding pest found around the world, feeding on cereals and similar products.
Description and life cycle
Adults are 8–10 mm in length with 16–20 mm wingspans. The outer half of their forewings are bronze, copper, or dark gray in color, while the upper half are yellowish-gray, with a dark band at the intersection between the two.
The moth larvae are off-white with brown heads. When these larvae mature, they are usually about 12 mm long.
The entire life cycle of this species may take 30 to 300 days. Female moths lay between 60 and 400 eggs on a food surface, which are ordinarily smaller than 0.5 mm and not sticky. The eggs hatch in 2 to 14 days. The larval stage lasts from 2 to 41 weeks, depending on the temperature.