Mediterranean Flour Moth
Facts About Mediterranean Flour Moths
The Mediterranean flour moth, also known as the indian flour moth or mill moth, first appeared in North America in 1889. It is most likely the result of trade, as it is found all over the world. While it may have come from imported goods from the Mediterranean region, it might have come from somewhere in Central America. No matter it’s origins, you’ll find the Mediterranean flour moth in your cereal, oatmeal or other flour and grain-based foods.
Damage Caused by Flour Moths
The Mediterranean flour moth is found in several different food items, not just flour. Grain and dust can be common breeding grounds for this pest. You’ll know if these moths are around because the silk they spin tends to bunch food particles together. This silk may also cause machinery to malfunction because of the webbing spun during the cocoon process. The material may clog mechanisms if there are enough larvae present.
Life Cycle of Flour Moths
Female Mediterranean flour moths will lay between 100 and 700 eggs in a variety of different grains. They are small and white and will attach to whatever food material they are laid in. Once the eggs hatch, white or pink larvae emerge with a dark head and dark spots that cover their bodies.
As soon as they hit the air, the larvae will spin cocoons in which they will live for a little over a month. During this time, they will being to mature into pupae that are reddish-brown in color. After a little less than two weeks, the adults emerge. This whole process, under warm conditions, takes between 5 to 7 weeks.
Like other moths, the larvae are more the problem than the actual adult moths. When they are fully grown, they just become annoying more than anything.
Types of Mediterranean Flour Moths
Mediterranean Flour Moth Identification
Adult male Mediterranean flour moths have pale gray bodies that measure 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch long. Their wingspans measure less than one inch long and are characterized by black zigzagging lines on a dirty white background. When the moth isn’t moving, it extends its forelegs, raising it head, and makes the body appear sloped. This helps to identify the moth if its black and white wing markings are no longer distinguishable.
Flour Moth Infestations
The adult moths you see are not causing any damage. Mediterranean flour moth larvae crawl throughout food making silken tubes to live in and this silk ruins food products. These pests are often found in the flour, cereal, dried beans, pet food, seeds and dried fruits that you keep in your cupboards and pantry.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mediterranean Meal Moths
How do I get rid of mediterranean flour moths in the home?
You’ll be able to prevent the Mediterranean flour moth from entering your home in the first place if you take special care to store your grain properly. Make sure to sanitize and clean any bins before storing any food. A little soap and water will help get rid of any unwanted visitors, as long as you are thorough.
Empty your pantries and cabinets, and look for cocoons in these spaces. Anything that is tainted with their webbing should be removed, even if the larvae or cocoons are not seen. Putting new food in plastic containers should also protect it from coming into contact with these moths. If you buy any loose grain, take special care to separate them from other products because the larvae may already be inside.
Always check your food supply every 1 to 2 months for signs of the moths’ return. This will help prevent any further issues. As always, keeping a tidy kitchen free of food particles and debris is key to keeping these moths out out of your snacks.
What are the Benefits of Professional Mediterranean Flour Moth Pest Control?
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a Mediterranean flour moth problem. Finding and treating the Mediterranean flour moths can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the Mediterranean flour moth infestation.