The female moth lays about 60 to 300 eggs either in a cluster or separately. The eggs will hatch between 2 to 14 days, and either a mature larvae or small white caterpillar will emerge. The larval stage is also considered the “pest stage” because the larvae will get themselves into foodstuffs and eat and continually web, sometimes leaving behind food that is clumped together or leaving fecal matter as it moves through the food.
When the larvae are ready to pupate, the larvae may leave the feeding site to make their cocoon. Sometimes they travel considerable distances to pupate, but they normally find a corner in a wall, cupboard, or between floor boards when in the home. Once the adult emerges from the cocoon, they will leave their feeding area and mate again. Depending on weather conditions the life cycle can last a period of four weeks or 300 days.
Indeanmeal Moths are a common pest for homeowners. They get into foodstuffs and damage is caused by the larvae spinning silken threads as they feed and crawl, thus webbing food particles together. Besides infesting all cereal food products and whole grains, larvae also feed on a wide variety of foods and feeds such as dried fruits, powdered milk, cornmeal, flour, raisins, prunes, nuts, chocolate, candies, health food and seeds, bird seed, dog and cat food, fish food, graham crackers, dried red peppers, pastas, etc. These moths fly mostly at night and are attracted to lights and may appear in the living room near or in front of television sets. Occasionally, the larvae or “white worms with black heads” crawl up walls and suspend from the ceiling attached to a single silken thread. Other times, a few larvae may be found in a food package along with unsightly webbing, cast skins and fecal pellets.