Indian Meal moths are about 3/8 inch long at rest; wing spread is about 5/8 inch.  When at rest the wings are folded together along the line of the body. The front half of the forewings is a grayish-white color, and the lower half is a rusty red-brown color.

The adult moths usually fly at night and lay eggs on food such as grain, dried food, and especially pet food.  The life cycle and habits of this pantry pest is similar to other moths infesting stored products. Eggs are laid on or near the food. A female moth may deposit from 40 to 350 eggs. After hatching, the small caterpillars begin spinning silken threads in the infested food material. They feed for about two weeks before becoming full grown.

They then crawl up to the surface of the food material or often up walls and pupate within a cocoon. The adult emerges in about 30 days. The entire cycle requires about six weeks and there are from 4-6 generations per year.