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Plodia interpunctella

Indian meal Moth

The Indian meal Moth, Plodia interpunctella is one of the most troublesome insects of stored grains worldwide. The larvae feed on dried fruits, processed cereal, nuts, cereals, legumes, raisins, chocolate, candies and other food products, causing large economic losses due to infestations.  Adult moths are seen in homes, grocery stores, warehouses, restaurants, pet stores, flour mills premises.

Plodia interpunctella, Indian meal Moth


Adult female moths lay eggs on food materials, either singly or in a group of 30-300. Eggs hatch within 2 to 14 days. They are greyish to dirty white and from 0.3 to 0.5 mm long.

First in-star larvae disperse into the food material several of hours after emergence.  Caterpillars are about 12.5 mm when fully grown. Brown-headed larvae are cream in colour body. Larvae are quite active and moult from four up to seven times before pupation. Pupae are reddish-brown in colour.

Adult moths are about 8 to 10 mm with a wing span of 18 to 20 mm.  The newly hatched larvae are very small and are capable of penetrating into loose packaging.

There are usually 4-6 generations per year. Complete life cycle of the Indian meal moth varies due to temperature and food but typically requires at least a month to complete. The life cycle may ranges from the shortest period of four weeks to the longest of 300 days depending on temperate profile. Under good conditions, the entire life cycle requires six to eight weeks.

Plodia interpunctella, Indian meal Moth

Nature of Damage

Larvae move to foodstuffs and cause damage by spinning silken threads with food particles as they feed and crawl, therefore webbing food particles together. Then they feed on the food particles that they have webbed together. Indian meal moth larval feeding reduces the dry weight of grain thus reduced commercial value. Severe infestation could lead to a mould development on grains.


Plodia interpunctella, Indian meal Moth


Russell IPM manufactures and supplies pheromone lure, traps and complete monitoring systems for Indian Meal Moth Plodia interpunctella.

Pheromone trap data gives early warning of the infestation and also exhibits the density of the insect population.



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