Meal Moth found around Chicken Coop!!!

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?
Signature: Diana

Meal Moth
Meal Moth

Dear Diana,
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.

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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

5 thoughts on “Meal Moth found around Chicken Coop!!!”

  1. Great info. We have had meal moths getting stuck into our chook grain here in Brisbane Australia. If the chooks see the larvae they have a feast but i really dont want them getting into the grain so ive decided to buy new plastic storage tubs with lids that actually seals tight this time.

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