There’s a fair probability that you’ve encountered a pantry moth infestation if you’ve ever seen flying moths or tiny caterpillar-like larvae in your kitchen, perhaps in an open flour packet or in an unsealed food container. The first stage in moth eradication is determining the sort of moth you have—believe it or not, there are numerous varieties of moths that would swarm into your house!
The Indian meal moths and the Mediterranean flour moths are the two primary types of pantry moths that can easily spoil your food and pantry. Both moths are also known as flour moths since the ideal place for flying female moths to lay their eggs is on flour.
The hungry moth larvae may easily access a food source as soon as the eggs hatch thanks to this nursery made of flour. In this article, we’ll learn all about Mediterranean flour moths, how to identify them, their life cycle, and tips on how to get rid of them.
About the Mediterranean Flour Moth
These moths, sometimes known as Mediterranean Flour Moths or Ephestia Kuehniella, are widespread throughout the US and Europe, not just the Mediterranean region. Particularly in the kitchen or other areas of your home where you would store food, the Mediterranean Pantry Moth is regarded as a highly destructive insect.
The larvae that emerge from these pantry moth eggs can eat cereals, beans, chocolate, flour, grains, biscuits, almonds, dry pet food, bird seed, dried fruits, etc. Even if adult moths are unable to do so since they lack a mouth. Basically, they don’t have a lot of food preferences – they’ll eat almost everything!!
Because they are difficult to observe, the damage that Mediterranean Pantry Moth larvae produce may not seem like much at first. People frequently learn they have a Mediterranean Flour Moth issue from the mats and tangled webs they leave inside the food they are eating.
Mediterranean Flour Moth Identification
There are some distinctions between the Mediterranean Flour Moth and other House Moths, such as the Indian Meal Moth, despite the fact that they share a similar appearance. The wings and legs of adult Mediterranean Pantry Moths are a light gray color. They measure approximately 3/4 of an inch in length and 1 inch in width.
Observe their wing patterns as well. You may know you have Mediterranean Flour Moths fluttering around if you observe two fuzzy zigzags. Larvae of the Mediterranean Pantry Moth are typically pink or light brown in hue with a dark brown head.
To learn more about the different types of moths in our House Moth Identification.
Mediterranean Flour Moth Life Cycle
On average, a female moth lays around 100–200 eggs, although some might deposit as many as 600. The tiny white eggs are fastened to the bags and cartons of food as well as to any of the aforementioned food sources.
The eggs develop into larvae in about 3 days (requiring warmer temperatures of 80 to 90°F or 25 to 30°C). They begin eating and spinning their silken webbing right away. They will keep eating and spinning tubing until they reach full maturity, which takes about 40 days.
They undergo a pupal stage and hang out there for 8–12 days. The adult flour moth then emerges, prepared for mating and egg-laying. A Mediterranean pantry moth’s entire life cycle spans roughly 5-7 weeks.
Visit our Moth Life Cycle & Pantry Moth Life Cycle guides to learn more!
How to Get Rid of Mediterranean Flour Moth
Inspecting the areas where you think the moths may be present is the first step in controlling a Mediterranean flour moth infestation. Clean out your cabinets and pantry, and keep an eye out for any cocoons, webbing, frass, or adult Mediterranean flour moths.
Take a look at all the open food packets. Food that has been infected with webbing shouldn’t be eaten. Food should always be kept in sealed plastic containers after being purchased.
Always consume the oldest food you have in storage first. The likelihood of pantry moth larvae forming an infestation in your pantry increases with the length of time you store your food.
The pantry should then be completely vacuumed. Pay close attention to the baseboard, shelves, corners, cracks, and empty shelf support holes. Eggs are laid by pantry moths in a variety of locations.
To kill the eggs, larvae, and pupae, it is also advised to clean the area with white vinegar or mild detergent. We advise using specially formulated pantry moth spray, but make sure it’s suitable for use in the kitchen and pantry.
The adult flour moths are what you have to deal with next. Using a pheromone pantry moth trap is one of the finest solutions. By collecting the males, this adhesive pantry moth trap allows you to estimate the population and reduces the number of male moths that are flying around.
No fresh pantry moth larvae, no fertilized eggs, and no males. Once your pantry is under control, carry on with your cleaning routine and keep an eye out for any flying moths in the pantry moth traps since this could indicate that the larvae have returned.
Knowing the key characteristics of a Mediterranean flour moth will make it easier for you to spot and eradicate this particular kind of pantry moth. You probably have Mediterranean flour moths in your home if you see any webbing or silk tubes in your pantry containers and packets. It’s time to start throwing away food packets, doing a complete cleaning, and setting up pantry moth traps.
Learn more about How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths, How to Get Rid of Carpet Moths, and How to Get Rid of Clothes Moths in our guides!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is it OK to use flour with moths?
When food has been contaminated by flour moths, regardless of whether it is flour, pasta, or cereals, it is advisable to throw it away. Even while the moths themselves are not hazardous, the food may have developed a dangerous mold.
Can moths come from flour?
Yes, flour moths are frequent pests that penetrate pantries and feed on and deposit their eggs in a variety of flour, grain, and food products. The Flour Moth larvae stage of their growth is the most destructive. These white, tiny eggs will adhere to any type of food after being laid.