Indian meal moth

Plodia interpuctella

Nature of damage

  • This pest of stored maize does not infest maize in the field.


  • Moths about 10mm long, with three bands (a narrow reddish brown one and a wider one of the same color separated by a whitish band), can be observed flying around infested grain stores.
  • The moths lay their eggs on the surface of the maize grain.
  • Upon inspecting the surface of stored ears or grain, one can find dense silken webbing produced by light-yellowish larvae, which eventually acquire a greenish or pinkish tint.
  • Full-grown larvae leave the in side of the grain and pupate in white, silken cocoons on the outside of the infested grain mass.

Geographic distribution

  • Worldwide distribution