WSU Extension


Mediterranean flour moth

(revision date: 7/14/2015)

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful pest management.

Although not the most common food-infesting moth (that honor belongs to the Indianmeal moth), the Mediterranean flour moth is certainly a frequent one. This moth has a wingspan of about one inch. Forewings are grayish with dark zigzag lines and the hindwings are off-white. This moth is most easily recognized by its characteristic resting pose. The adult raises the front of its body, giving the wings a distinct downward slope. The tip of the abdomen protrudes up between the wings. The larvae are white to whitish pink and about 1/2 inch at maturity. The larvae spin a great deal of webbing on or near their food like the Indianmeal moth. The Mediterranean flour moth larvae feed on grains, cereal and grain products, dry pet food, dried fruit, candy, dried milk, and many other foodstuffs.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Find the source of the infestation and dispose of it.
  • In addition to the above, one should physically destroy the larvae and pupae as they are wandering about before they become reproductive adults. Adults can be eliminated with devices like fly swatters.
  • Physically destroy the larvae and pupae before they become reproductive adults.
  • Maintain food in tightly-sealed containers to keep pests out.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended.

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Caption: Mediterranean flour moth adult
Photo by: Ken Gray