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What are these little moths in my kitchen?

What are these little moths in my kitchen?

Daily sightings of little moths in the kitchen probably means you have an infestation of a stored product pest; in this case of the winged variety. The three most common types of these moths are the Mediterranean meal moth, Indian meal moth, and the Angoumois grain moth. Often confused with clothes moths, all three are found mainly in the kitchen or wherever grain or grain products are stored.

Indian meal mothThe Indian meal moth has a distinctive two-toned coloring on its wings: pale-gray at the front then a reddish brown on the rear half. Once an infestation gets established they spin tunnel-like silk cases and silken threads that can be easily seen. The larvae do a lot of crawling, therefore their silken threads and cases may be found several feet away from their food source.

Mediterranean meal mothThe Mediterranean meal moth has pale-gray wings with two black zig-zag lines going across them. They also make silk cases and threads. The Mediterranean and the Indian meal moths both can be found infesting grains, seeds, flour, cereals, dried beans, dry dog food, chocolate, dried fruits, graham crackeers, and many other stored food products.

The Angoumois grain moth usually are only found in grains and seeds and do not make silk cases or threads. The Angoumois is pale yellow to brown in color. All three cause no damage as adults and are attracted to light.

Angoumois grain moth

Pheromone traps are available at your local hardware store, but they will only capture the adults. For complete moth elimination the infested food source must be found and removed.

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