MOTH SPECIES

Common Moth Species

Moths may look small and harmless, but they can cause surprising amounts of damage to your clothing and stored products in general.

Learn more about the lifecycle and habits of moths that are commonly found in the United Kingdom.

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Indian Meal Moth

(Plodia Interpunctella)

indian meal moth

Appearance

  • The adult wingspan is around 14 – 20 mm long.
  • The first third of the forewings are cream in colour. The remainder of the wings is copper with dark grey spots.
  • The larva is yellowish-white in colour and sometimes in reddish or greenish colour.

Lifecycle

  • Egg to adult stage takes 27 days.

Habits

  • Often found on cereal grain, flour, groundnuts and dried fruits.
  • Leaves webbing and frass at infested areas.

Rice Moth

(Corcyra cephalonica)

Rice moth

Appearance

  • Adult forewings are uniformly pale buff-brown with slightly darkened veins.
  • The larva is pale white with a brown head capsule and prothoracic tergite.

Lifecycle

  • The egg to adult stage takes about a month.

Habits

  • Eggs are laid on food.
  • The larva pupates at the stored product, store structures or on the bags.
  • The adult is nocturnal. Hence they are most active during nighttime.
  • Leaves webbing, cocoon, frass and excreta at infested areas.

Tropical Warehouse Moth

(Ephestia Cautella)

tropical warehouse moth

Appearance

  • Adult wingspan wingspan is around 15 — 20mm long.
  • Adult forewings are grey-brown banded with lighter and darker colours.
  • The larva can be whitish, yellowish or reddish depending on food consumption.

Lifecycle

  • Egg to adult stage takes 31 days.

Habits

  • Larva tends to wander upwards to dark areas to pupate.
  • Often found on stored cereals, nuts, dried fruit, oil seeds and oilcake.

Angoumois Grain Moth

(Sitotroga cerealella)

angoumois grain moth

Appearance

  • The adult wingspan is around 10 – 18 mm long.
  • Adult forewings are pale brown and often with a small black spot at the outer half.
  • The hind wings are with a long fringe of hairs and sharply pointed at the tip.

Lifecycle

  • The egg to adult stage takes around 25 – 28 days.

Habits

  • Eggs are laid on grain.
  • Larva completes its development within a single seed and leaves a small round hole when pupation complete.