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Extension > Yard and Garden News > Watch For Meal Moths

Watch For Meal Moths

Jeffrey Hahn, UMN Extension Entomologist

There have been a number of reports of meal moths in homes recently. When at rest, the MVC-004S.JPG

Photo 1: Meal moth. Unknown.

forewings of this moth have a dark reddish brown band across the top and bottom of the wings while there is an olive or yellowish green band, outlined by wavy white lines in the center. They have a wingspan of about 3/4 - 1 inch. Their abdomen is typically curved up at a 90o angle when at rest.

Meal moths are not as common as Indianmeal moths, although they both feed on dried food products. Meal moths are known to feed on flour and grain products, seeds, and hay especially when they are damp. These moths are generally not common in homes but are more typically found in mills, barns, and warehouses.

If you do find meal moths in your home, the best control is to find the source of the infestation and remove it. Look where you store dried food products. Don't forget about places where grain and flour products, bird seed and other types of seeds, and dried pet food may have been spilled and forgotten about. Start looking where you most commonly find the moths; this is probably close to where the infestation is. Because meal moths do not generally occur in large numbers, it will be more challenging to find the infestation and will probably require some detective to discover the source of the problem.
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