Ephestia elutella are a widely distributed pest moth of stored products in subtropical and warmer temperate regions. They are considered a primary pest of stored products and can infest many products including tobacco, grains, pulses, processed flours, shelled nuts, dried fruits, cocoa beans, fish and spices.
Adult moth is 16mm in length with a wingspan of 14-20 mm, brownish grey in colour with forewings crossed with two light bands. The hind wings are paler and plain grey. Larva are 10-15mm in length and is creamy white in colour with a brown head and brown body markings.
Adult female lays 120-150 eggs on or near the products. Eggs hatch within 10-12 days. Larvae pass through 4-5 moults before pupation. The entire lifecycle can be completed in as short as 30 days in ideal conditions.
Infestations in domestic or food storage situations can usually be traced back to a cereal or dried pet food source. Since these moths can infest so many types of food products, inspect thoroughly. There may be several infested products, discard any food that is infested. Infested areas should be thoroughly vacuumed paying particular attention to cracks and crevices, contents of the vacuum cleaner should be disposed of in an outside bin. Store new food products in sealed glass or plastic containers. After cleaning, treat the infested areas using a residual insecticide labeled for crawling/flying insects to ensure that all adult moth and larvae have been killed.
Products to control Tobacco/Cocoa/Warehouse Moth:
Eradisect Flying and Crawling Insect Killer (600ml)
Ecorex Action Plus (1L)
Eradisect Moth Hanger (pack of 10)