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Moths in groceries

Moths (e.g. Mediterranean flour moth and Indian meal moth) are, above all, pests in groceries! Other kind of moths e.g. Warehouse moth (Ephestia elutella) and Tropical warehouse moth (Ephestia/Cadra caudella) have also been located in Finland, but very seldom they do considerable damage here.

Mediterranean flour moth (Ephestia kühniella) is one of the worst and most persistent pests, especially in the mills and bakeries. In households, most damage are caused by its larvae, which can be found from the bakery products. Some damage are also done by the adult butterflies flying in the air. People easily tend to think those adult butterflies are Wedding clothes moths.

Larva of the Mediterranean flour moth lives especially in mills and bakeries and in there, above all, in the wheat flour. It has also been located in other bakery products, though never in grains. Larva weaves cobweb, which causes the flour to get lumpy. That lumpy mass also contains a lot of dark excrements. Adult butterfly does not eat much. At night time it flies around, but in day time, it just sits somewhere in the dark and shady places with its wings closed. Mediterranean flour moth withstands the frost quite well, for a short time of up to -15°C.

Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella) causes mostly hygienic harm by soaking the dry products with their feces.

Indian meal moth is a real pest especially in the dry fruit production of warm countries. It has spread to Finland along with the imported goods e.g. dried fruits, almonds, nuts and sweets. Its larva weaves white-coloured cobweb into which they also defecate. Adult larva wanders quite far from its birth site. There it encloses itself in a some gap. Indian meal moth cannot cope normal Finnish winter in the cold storage facilities.


Wingspan of adult Mediterranean flour moth is about 2 cm. Its front wings are lead-gray and have also transversely dark “zigzag” patterns. Its larvae are about 2 cm in length, blonde, sparly hairy and very soft. At the base of their back, you are able to find a dark comma, which is not visible on the larva of the Indian meal moth.

Prevention of indian meal moths

Wingspan of adult Indian meal moth is about 1,5 cm. Its front wings are both light-grey and brick red. Its larvae are about 1,5 cm in length and pale yellow in colour.

What can I do by myself?

Pest control of Mediterranean flour moth is rather challenging, because its larva can easily spread to all parts of the building along with the flour dust. It is not easy to use pesticides in mills and bakeries. Therefore you have to be alert all the time in order to keep the amount of Mediterranean flour moths low at your site. Basis of their pest control is regular monitoring, cleaniness of the production environment as well as the quick product lifecycle. Product and storage facilities should be also kept as cold as possible.

Products, which are delicious to the Indian meal moth, such as almonds, nuts and raisins are recommended to be kept in a freezer (-25-30°C) for a week. If the contamination caused by Indian meal moths is not noticed early, their pest control can be challenging, as its larvae like to wander around. Badly contaminated products needs to be then disposed – partly contaminated products can be though saved. However, the contaminated site needs to be treated by professional pest controllers, so please contact us then at latest.

If you are not able to control the moths by yourself, please contact us. We will do it! We will solve it!

Comb­ating koi

At first, case pre-study and then the design of unique pest control plan. After that, efficient and high-quality pest control actions with the latest available methods and techniques.

In order to achieve high-quality results in the most efficient way, we tend to use different kind of pest control methods and techniques. Our main target in pest control, is to avoid pesticides as much as possible.

Our technical responsible persons, will provide upon request additional information about our pest control methods and techniques. Please, contact us for more information!