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Pest Information

Meal Moth

Meal Moth

  • Latin Name: Pyralis farinalis
  • Common Name: Meal Moth
  • Latin Family Name: Pyralidae
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Meal Moth
Meal Moth
Meal Moth


Not found in literature, but this moth is found throughout the world.


This species is one of several which are drawn most often to food products in damp or spoiled condition, on which some amount of fungus may be growing. They will infest any kind of vegetable or seed product and processed foods, but usually are in materials forgotten and in poor condition for some period of time. The adults may be attracted to lights, and can be found within homes when an infestation is not present. The larvae often spin a tube of silk around themselves, and feed by protruding from the end of this tube, causing a great deal of silk webbing and fecal matter to accumulate where they are present.


The larva is similar to other small food-pest moth larvae. It is about 1 inch long when full grown, and has a black head and an orange tint to the posterior end. The rest of the body is a grayish color. The adult is a very distinctive moth, with the base of the wing and the outer third a dark reddish brown color, while the middle section of each wing is a creamy tan. It is one of the larger stored food products moths, with adults having a wing span of about one inch. While at rest the wings are held flat and in a “delta” position, angled outward.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

While the moth potentially can be in sound foods, it most often is going to infest material in damp, poor condition, and the location of such material can be in many places. Foods stored in voids by rodents are possible, food or plant accumulations in crawl spaces, or bags or boxes of foods inadvertently stored in attics or garages can all offer suitable conditions, and should be discovered and disposed of.

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