It is also referred to as the North American High Flyer or pantry moth. At other times, it is called a flour moth or a grain moth. This is because it is a common pest that feeds on grain and cereal.

They measure 8 – 10 mm long in adult hood and have a wing span of between 16 – 20 mm. A half of their wings are bronze, dark grey or copper in color, and the other half is yellowish gray. There is a dark band between the two parts.

Their life cycle takes from 30 to 300 days. Females lay about 60 – 400 eggs at a go; mostly on food surfaces. These eggs hatch in 2 – 14 days and the larva stage take about the same time, depending on surrounding conditions.

The larvae of the Indian meal moths are often referred to as wax worms and are off-white in color with brown heads measuring as much as 12 mm long in maturity. They are also found in dry food stuff and they give it a look of being webbed together. This is because as the larva feeds on the food it excretes a silky web onto it that can totally ruin stored foods.

For this reason, dry food stuff should be kept in tight fitting containers. However none of the stages in its life cycle is tolerant of too much cold or extremely high temperature. For this reason heating food in high temperatures or keeping them in freezing temperatures kills them off.