The Mediterranean Meal Moth is also known as the Mediterranean Flour Moth, Indian Flour Moth or Mill Moth. Their name derives from their propensity to invade and infest stored supplies of food staple items such as flours, grains, sugars and cereals. They are commonly found inside homes, particularly in areas where food is stored or has been accidentally spilled.
Mediterranean Meal Moths prefer grain-based foods like flour, cereals and various baked goods. They will also feed on dried fruits or mushrooms occasionally.
The size and scope of infestations often depend on the available supply and access to stored food on the premises. Large infestations have occurred in locations such as grain mills, where an abundance of their preferred food supply is present.
Infestations in homes are generally less serious although these pests can be extremely difficult to completely eradicate.
The adult moth is a light gray color and measures up to 12 mm long. Its wingspan is normally between 16 mm and 20 mm. In their larval form, they are off-white in color with black spots along the body and a darker-colored head. The larva is approximately 12 mm long when fully developed.
The female moth normally lays between 100 and 700 eggs in an area where food is present. They hatch after three to eight days and emerge as larva. Following their larval stage, the caterpillars will spin a cocoon to encase themselves at which time they will take on a reddish-brown color. They will emerge as moths after approximately 8-12 days.