What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Pantry moths Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 12:53 PM
Hi, Bugman! I just spent the day cleaning out my pantry, re-packaging food, and cleaning everything down.
I am having a problem with small tan moths that I haven’t been able to identify online. I see the moths most often at night, and they seem attracted to lights. The moths are about 1/2 inch long.
The closest match I can find is the angoumois moth. As you can see from the attached pic, they do have a fringe at the ends of their wings. However, the pics I’ve seen of angoumois moths show pointier wings. And my moths all have a pair of large brown spots midway on the wings.
Pacific Northwest

Mediterranean Flour Moth???

Mediterranean Flour Moth???

Hi Erika,
Most Pantry Moths we receive are Indian Meal Moths, but we believe you have Mediterranean Flour Moths or Mill Moths, Anagasta kuehniella, or sometimes Ephestia kuehniella .  The PennState College of Agricultural Sciences Department of Entomology has fact sheet on the Mediterranean Flour Moth with drawings, and describes the moth as:  “a pale-gray color and from one-forth to one-half inch long, with a wingspread of slightly less than one inch. The wings are marked with two indistinct, black zigzag lines. The hindwings are a dirty          white. When at rest, the moth extends the forelegs which raises the head          and gives the body a sloping appearance. This posture is very distinctive          and is a more reliable character for identification than the wing markings         which may be rubbed off. ”  There is also a drawing on the UK Stored Product Insects website.  The larger size of your specimen is a contributing factor to our hesitant identification, but we eagerly welcome a more expert opinion on this matter.  Though it doesn’t have a photo that resembles your moth, we found the very helpful Kendall Bioresearch Services Domestic Moth page.

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One Response to Mediterranean Flour Moth, possibly

  1. rebs42 says:

    These look very similar to moths i’ve had in the past…as well as your pantry i’d check any pet food. They could also be coming from a package of oatmeal or another shelf stable grain product. I found mine in some oatmeal and after i got rid of it didn’t have too much trouble with the little critters.

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