Subject: Moth that’s hanging around our chicken coop
Location: Van Nuys CA
August 30, 2013 5:38 am
Hi Bug Man,
We’ve got this moth that is increasing in numbers rapidly. I mostly see it hanging out around our chicken coop. That seems to be the coolest place during the day in our yard. Could this be the bug getting the new froth on all my recently plante speeches and nectarines?
We quickly identified your Meal Moth, Pyralis farinalis, on the British Lepidoptera site which has excellent photos. The site indicates: ” Jun-Aug; stored grain; common in grain stores, barns etc throughout GB.” Since you live in California and not Great Britain, we wanted to also provide a link on BugGuide., but alas, there are no photos, though BugGuide does provide the information that it is found: “mainly in homes, barns, warehouses and other buildings where grain or processed grain products are stored” and that it is “a pest of stored grain and grain products throughout the world.” Charles Hogue, in his landmark book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin wrote: “The larvae are dirty white except for the dark brown head and first thoracic segment. They live in cases or tunnels of silk mixed with food debris; they prefer stale damp material, but all stored vegetable products are susceptible to their ravages.” You should check the grain you are feeding the chickens for the infestation. We don’t believe the presence of the larvae in the chicken meal will harm your hens which are probably gobbling up the extra protein with gusto. The adult Meal Moths do not feed on the grain. Only the larvae feed on the grain.