Control Of Meal And Flour Moths

Moth larvae can blight grain and food stores, but by taking on board a few simple measures, you can minimise the risk of these insects attacking your stock.

indian meal mothThe main pest species of stored food include the Flour or Meal Moth (Pyralis farinalis ), the Mediterranean Flour Moth (Ephestia kuehniella ) and the Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella ).

The larvae of these and several other species feed on cereals and cereal products and frequently destroy or damage large quantities of food in granaries and flour mills. They also attack nuts and dried fruit.

Moths are extremely delicate insects, and the most common species in the UK have a wingspan of about 20-40 mm. They are usually more or less brownish in colour, although the wings of some species are distinctively patterned with contrasting dark and pale areas, and sometimes with reddish or green-tinged patches. The forewings are generally narrow and the hind wings somewhat broader, and both pairs of wings bear relatively short fringes.

Adult moths cause no direct damage and it is only when the insects are in the larval stages (or caterpillars) that they attack our food stuffs.

Caterpillars of meal and flour moths are generally whitish or pale-yellowish in colour with few distinguishing features, but often they can be recognised by their vigorous wriggling when disturbed. They feed on a wide variety of materials, including grain and other stored food products, and many of them live in silken tubes and tunnels.

It is always advisable to keep household foods such as grain, cereals, flour, nuts, etc., in well sealed plastic or glass containers – this not only keeps out vagrant moths, but also prevents the spread of insects which might be introduced accidentally (often as eggs and/or larvae) with newly purchased goods.

Control of Meal & Flour Moths

The control measures described above for Meal and Flour Moths are also applicable to Grain and Flour Beetles, as well as other domestic beetle pests that likewise attack dried food products. For further information and advice on stored product moths, do not hesitate to contact Attack Pest Control.