Stored-product moths: various species

Classification

Secondary pests, except for Angoumois grain moth, which is a primary pest. Grain feeders and scavengers, depending on species.

Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Oecophoridae, Pyralidae, Tineidae
Acronym: various, depending on species

Description

  • Larvae are generally whitish in colour with a dark head capsule.
  • Adults have scales that look like fur.

Similar species

Commodities affected

  • A variety of commodities; not all species attack all commodities.
  • Stored grain, cereals, pulses, oilseeds, dried foods, dried fruit, fungi, nuts, animal and plant products, carpet, wool articles, fur, skin, feathers.

Signs of infestation

  • In many cases, abundant amounts of insect frass are produced.
  • Many species produce webbing that further contaminates the commodity.

Damage

  • Damage is indistinct.
  • Damage caused by direct feeding on the commodity in question is common.
  • Commodity is contaminated by feeding, presence of adults, larvae, frass and webbing.

How to control

Geographic range

  • Most moth species that attack stored grain are cosmopolitan in distribution, but many do better in temperate climates

Where found

  • Location varies depending on species.
  • Moths are often found in undisturbed areas: up high, on bin ceilings, ridges, pipes.

Life history

  • Life histories vary by species.
  • Generally, adults do not feed. Larvae cause damage directly, though moths may contribute to contamination of grain products.
  • Females lay eggs randomly amongst foodstuff.
  • Adults are nectar feeders or liquid feeders and do not consume solid materials.