If you do identify Mediterranean Flour Moth in your home, contact Heritage Pest Control for inspection and treatment.
Mediterranean Flour Moth
The Mediterranean flour moth was first reported in North America in 1889. Authorities differ as to the origins of this now cosmopolitan insect of stored goods. Some believe it came from Europe, by way of the Mediterranean region, while others believe it originated in Central America.
The Mediterranean flour moth can be found on a great variety of foodstuffs in addition to flour, grain residues (insect-infected grain, broken kernels, and dust), and various whole grains. Although this insect is not as serious a pest as the Indian meal moth and some of the grain infesting beetles, it still causes clogging of machinery with its webbing, and at times causes grain mill shut-downs. In recent times, the use of fumigants has greatly reduced the incidence of the Mediterranean flour moth.
It is a particular problem in provender mills, bakeries and occasionally even in catering premises. One generation is usually produced but in warm conditions, adults will be present throughout the year and may produce 4-6 generations.
The Mediterranean Flour Moth has forewings which are grey in colour with darker mottling, their hind wings tend to be paler. Adults have a 20-25mm wingspan. Larvae tend to be pinkish/white and can have dark underside spots.
Larvae present a more serious problem, as it is their feeding and excretions that contaminate the produce. The adults do not feed.
The larvae produce copious amounts of silk which contaminates grains but this larval webbing also causes serious blockages in provender mills. The larvae eat holes in sifting silks and may also reach mill’s finished products.
The webbing may also cause condensation which leads to damaging molds.
Prevention is the best strategy to avoid insect problems in stored grains. Proper bin sanitation before introduction of new grain minimizes the need for pesticides. Good sanitation involves the removal of old grain and dust in and around the grain bin. This includes removal of old grain from corners, floors, and walls and grain that may have spilled on the exterior of the bin. Any grain remaining when a bin is emptied can harbor insect infestations which will move into the new grain. After the bin is cleaned, and all needed repairs have been made, the floor and wall surfaces both inside and outside the bin should be treated, if the grain will be stored for more than six months. Take special care to treat all cracks, crevices, and areas around doorways and other places where insects could hide or enter. Spray the bins about four to six weeks prior to storing grain.