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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What insect is this? > Insects found indoors > Winged Insects - 1/4 inch up to 1/2 inch > Indianmeal moth

Indianmeal moth

Plodia interpunctella


Phil Pellitteri, University of Wisconsin


Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota

Size: 1/4 inch long; wingspan 1/2 - 5/8 inch

Description: Wings folder over their bodies; base of front wings is pale gray or tan and the outer two-thirds is reddish-brown with coppery color; wing markings may not be clear if the scales have been rubbed off.

Where/When: Indianmeal moths are found indoors, especially in kitchens and other rooms where dried food products, such as cereal, pasta, dry pet food, bird seed, grain-based products, dried fruits, chocolate, nuts, and spices are found. Adults are attracted to lights and may be seen flying around the home in rooms where an infestation does not necessarily occur. These moths can be present all year.

Significance: Adults don't harm people or property. However larvae consume and contaminate dried food products.

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