European grain moth
Nemapogon granella (Linnaeus)


Secondary pest: Grain feeder
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Tineidae
Acronym: NGR


  • Adult moths have a wingspan of 9 to 14 mm and a body length of 7 mm.
  • Adult's head is covered with spiky scales that give the appearance of hair.
  • Adult's forewing is white with a basal black bar and mottled with brownish patches.
  • Larvae are white with a head capsule that ranges in color from pale yellow to dark brown and a thoracic plate that is yellowish to pale brown.
  • Larvae reach a length of 7 to 10 mm at maturity.

Similar species

  • Large pale clothes moth (Tinea pallescentella)
  • Case-making clothes moth (Tinea pellionella)

Commodities affected

  • Affects rye, wheat, barley, oats, corn, soybeans, rice, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and mushrooms
  • Prefers cereals with high moisture content

Signs of infestation

  • Disagreeable odour, clumped grain
  • Contamination with silk and frass (excrement)


  • Damage is not distinct and is caused by larval feeding
  • Larvae infest top 5 to 6 cm of the grain bulk
  • Larvae feed first on germ and then on the endosperm

How to control

Geographic range

  • Is found in North America, Argentina, Europe, Northern Asia, Australia
  • Is more common in temperate regions

Where found

  • Is found in granaries, warehouses, mills, elevators and occasionally wine cellars

Life history

  • Females lay eggs singly in the food source, on dust, debris or bags.
  • Larvae leave the food source and actively search for pupation sites.

Did you know?

The European grain moth is also reported to infest wine corks.