Mediterranean Flour Moth
The Mediterranean flour moth got its name from the location believed to be its origin. It is fairly large for a pantry pest moth, up to ¾” long with a wingspan up to 1″ wide. Adult flour moths are gray colored with black specks and wavy black lines on their back. When they are at rest they push up with their front legs, making their backs slope as in the picture – a unique pose that can be used to identify them. Flying adults will be attracted to lights. Mediterranean flour moth larvae are under ¾” long, and white colored with very small black dots. They prefer processed grains and flours, but will feed on other things like cereals, nuts, dog food, and dried fruit. When the larvae hatch they will spin a silken tube, which they live in – unlike the larvae of the Indianmeal moth. These silken tubes are a nuisance in grain mills because they can clog the machinery. When the larvae mature they leave the silk tube in search of a location to pupate. This can lead them far away from the initial food source in some cases. If the larva can find a protected location, a cocoon is not always formed for the pupa stage.