Little Yellow Worms are Indian Meal Moth Larvae

A reader from New Jersey discovered some little yellow worms in his storehouse. He estimated their length to be about 1/4 of an inch and even provided a great photo with a sponge for scale:

indian meal moth larva


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He wants to know: What are they? Are they problematic? We believe these small yellowish worms with reddish heads are larvae. There are several different kinds of larvae that fit this description, and without more information about where these creatures were found, we can’t say for certain which type of larvae our reader found.

However, we think it is very likely that the specimens are Indian meal moth larvae. These cream colored larvae have dark orange heads and infest stored food materials like grains, cereals, and spices. Indian meal moth larvae leave a silken webbing over the food they infest. These larvae don’t just hide out in the food though, they crawl onto the walls and ceiling when they are ready to mature into moths. From the photo, it looks as though our reader found these creatures either on the wall or ceiling, so it’s very possibly they are Indian meal moth larvae. He did mention that he found the larvae in his storehouse, and storehouses are often used for storing goods. However, it can store any types of goods besides food, like building materials. If his storehouse IS housing food, then we think he probably found Indian meal moth larvae! To confirm this, he should investigate his stored goods for the aforementioned layer of silk webbing. Anything that has been infested by the larvae needs to be discarded. Next, he should vacuum the storehouse, and relocate his food goods to air-tight storage containers to prevent further infestations. Continuing to vacuum and clean the storehouse on a regular basis will also help deter these larvae.

To conclude, one of our readers found some yellow larvae in his storehouse. We believe these larvae are Indian meal moth in their larval stage.

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Little Yellow Worms are Indian Meal Moth Larvae
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One of our readers found some yellow larvae in his storehouse. We believe these larvae are Indian meal moth in their larval stage.
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Author: Worm Researcher Dori

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