White-shouldered house moth
Endrosis sarcitrella (L.)


Secondary pest: Grain feeder and fungus feeder
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Oecophoridae
Acronym: ESA


  • Adults are tan coloured with head, mouthparts and thorax covered in white scales.
  • Adults have a wingspan of 15-20 mm and the labial palps are curved upwards.
  • Larvae are free living, white with a reddish head and reach a length of 12 mm at maturity.

Similar species

  • None

Commodities affected

  • Feeds on stored grain, dried foods, animal and plant products, cereals, pulses, dried dog fruit and fungi
  • May be associated with bird nests from which it may infest grain storage

Signs of infestation

  • An abundance of grain connected by silken material is a sign of infestation, though not unique to this species.
  • Presence of silk and frass (excrement) is also a sign.


  • Damage is not distinctive
  • Llarvae produce silk webbing as they feed
  • Irregular holes may be present in commodity attacked

How to control

Geographic range

  • Is found worldwide though more common in temperate regions
  • Is rarely intercepted in Canada and is only established in British Columbia

Where found

  • Is generally classified as a scavenger
  • Indicates aged residues and poor hygiene in storage if large numbers of moths are present
  • Is more often found in association with grain stores

Life history

  • Females lay eggs in crevices.
  • Larvae require very high humidity (80%) to complete development.
  • Pupation occurs on or near the food source.


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Did you know?

The white-shouldered house moth can breed continuously in stored products if conditions are suitable.