Mediterranean flour moth stance       Mediterranean flour moth wings open

The Mediterranean flour moth is another common pantry pest.  It is found world-wide (including Auburn, CA) and is an important pest in mills, processing plants, and food storage facilities.  Most are carried into the home in packaged goods or groceries.  This moth feeds on grain, cereal products and flour and damage occurs mainly from larval feeding.

The adult Mediterranean flour moth has grey forewings with some dark zigzag markings, and the hind wing is light grey to beige. It is distinct in its stance as it raises the front of its body, giving the wings a downward slope.  The larva is white to pink in color with a brown head.

It is important to know that this moth can burrow through packaging.  The female lays 150-200 eggs in the food source.  The larva, when feeding on whole grain, burrows into the food and is concealed while it feeds on the germ and bran of the grain.  A tell-tale sign of infestation in the product is silk webbing, frass, cast skins, pupal cases and adult remains.

Although everyone’s home is vulnerable, there is a lot you can do in the way of prevention by storing food properly and practicing good sanitation.  Most pantry pests can chew through plastic bags or cardboard boxes, so place stored foods into containers, such as glass jars with a good rubber seal or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.

Periodically vacuum your pantry shelves, clean up spills right away, and check your dishwasher area and toaster for crumbs.  Also check the cracks beside your stove and refrigerator where food crumbs could fall.  Be especially vigilant around any dried pet food, since mice can steal the pet food and may store it in wall voids.  Then, if meal moths find the stolen food, you will have a very difficult time finding the source of the infestation!

Gold Miner Pest Control and Wildlife Management 

Phone: Auburn, CA (530) 878-8786 or Colfax, CA (530) 346-8379