• Indian meal moth Moths

    Indian meal moth
  • Indian meal moth
  • Indian meal moth


If you find one of these pest species in your cupboards, first find the source of the infestation and then destroy the contaminated food. It’s a good idea to put any infested or suspicious looking food in an airtight plastic bag and put it in the garbage outside the house.

Empty the cupboards and then search them for cocoons. Remove any cocoons you find before treating. Apply Maheu&Maheu Crawling Insect Killer on and under the shelves, paying special attention to any cracks, as you would when treating for cockroaches. You can put your food, dishes, and kitchen utensils back in the cupboard once the insecticide has dried, i.e., about two hours after the treatment.

If you have too many adult moths, spray Maheu&Maheu Flying Insect Killer in the air. A pheromone trap (containing a sex pheromone that attracts the males) may also be an effective control method.


  • Put all food in sealed containers
  • Vacuum pantries and under appliances (empty receptacle/dispose of bag)
  • Set out pheromone glue traps
  • Spray or treat the perimeter of the kitchen with an insecticide as well as cracks and crevices in pantries


  • Always store food in sealed containers
  • Examine pet food before putting it away

Description and development

Indian and Mediterranean meal moths are small winged insects. The tips of the Indian meal moth’s forewings are a coppery reddish-brown, whereas the Mediterranean meal moth’s are silvery gray with black horizontal stripes. The life cycle is completed in six to ten weeks, depending on the species. Each female can lay 100 to 350 eggs. These will be laid near dry foodstuffs.


The larvae are a whitish beige color and feed on flour, grain, dried fruits, nuts, cocoa, chocolate, dried meats, and pasta. They are also often found in dry pet food and dried flowers.


Once the problem is solved, it’s a good idea to caulk any cracks in the cupboards with an appropriate sealant.

We also recommend that you buy only small quantities of susceptible foods, especially in the summer, and store them in airtight containers as soon as you bring them home from the grocery store. This will limit the damage in the event of a future infestation.

For more information on Meal Moth, please read issue 25 of our technical newsletter The Gatekeeper.

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