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 Charter # 133




The Indian meal moth is the most common moth we deal with. They have stripes that go across the wings.

This pest can infest any organic matter found in the pantry and it is the most common insect found in packages of whole wheat, graham flour, and corn meal.

Another stored food pest we deal with are Angoumois Grain Moths. It attacks dried grains in storage as well as those maturing in the field. This moth is active at low temperatures and does much damage in the winter.


Certain food moths, because of dormancy in summer, can have a full life cycle from 3 weeks to as much as 1 year.

The larvae is 9 to 19 mm in length, and is usually dirty white in color, but may range from pink to brown to a greenish tinge.

Larvae pupate mostly in March and emerge in April. The female commences to oviposit about three days after emergence, laying 200 to 400 eggs.

The casemaking clothes moth has to encase itself in a silken tube or case, in which it lives.

The forepart of its body and legs protrude and it drags its case behind as it moves to newer feeding areas. The larvae will die if removed from this silken case.

When ready to pupate the larva draws itself completely inside the case and seals off both ends.

The normal life cycle is 2 to 3 months, but may take up to 4 years.

The first instar larvae cannot survive on clean wool. They need additional nutrients provided by soiled woolens.


Clothes moths can be confused with a species of the grain moth.

It is the larvae of the clothes moth that does the most damage to clothing.

Items damaged are those containing a protein material known as keratin. It is a naturally occurring material in wood, hair, fur, horns, hoofs, and feathers.

The Webbing clothes moth and the casemaking moth are the two most commonly encountered species. A third kind, the tapestry or carpet moth is seldom a problem in the U.S.

The Webbing clothes moths are covered with shiny golden scales and their eyes are black.

The head of the Webbing clothes moth is covered with reddish-brown hair.

They are weak flyers.

They like the darker areas of the room and avoid light.


Prior to treatment for fabric pests suspected clothing should be inspected and dry cleaned or washed in hot water and detergent.

If problem is a food/pantry problem then cupboards need to be cleaned out and older food inspected and/or discarded prior to treatment.


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Last modified: 03/18/10