Indian mealmoths

Indian mealmoths (Plodia interpunctella) are members of the large moth family Pyralidae (snout moths!). This family contains many annoying pest species, including wax moths (pests of honeybee hives), and other pantry problems: almond, rice, and flour moths.

I wanted to write a post about these common house pests because they are a major annoyance in my household; one of my roommates despises them with a passion and the other couldn’t care less. I hunt them and kill them with a vengeance, but I harbor no hatred for them…it’s more about keeping their population density under control.

Our attempts to control these moths have been almost entirely unsuccessful, although they perhaps keep the population relatively small. We’ve tried cleaning out the pantry completely, removing infested grains, pheromone traps, and of course my hunting. I think these pests are a potentially intractable problem in cohousing situations where one doesn’t control all of the potential food sources available to them.

Here are some photos:
Indian mealmoth
Indian mealmoth
Indian mealmoth

The wikipedia page has a lot of nice photos and information:


2 thoughts on “Indian mealmoths

  1. Oh, lordy–bane of my existence!! My kitten likes to “hunt” them.

    Basically, pantry moths are there to remind you to clean out your cupboards (ALL the way clean) once or twice a year. Doing so does keep the population down a bit. When the mealy worms get in the bread crumbs, oatmeal, or cornmeal, I empty the bag/container into the chicken coop.

    And don’t you hate the way they leave a dusty-colored smudge on the walls when you whack them?

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