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The insects generally known as “moths” belong to the same order as the butterflies (Lepidoptera) and are sometimes classified as microlepidopterans or simply "moths". Moths include classic stored product pests that live in foodstuff stores. Private households (kitchen, pantry) are also often affected. Some species (e.g. the common clothes moth) are also problematical material pests.
In contrast to butterflies, moths are relatively small and their colouration tends to be subdued. They are most active during the night and twilight hours.


The development cycle of moths includes the stages egg, larva, pupa and adult (or imago). The larva, in most cases a worm-like caterpillar, begins feeding after it emerges from the eggs. After a series of moultings, they reach a certain size and pupate, in which stage the development of the adult animal takes place. The adult moths normally do not feed. They are responsible for reproduction and, after pairing, lay eggs near or on the stored foodstuffs. The duration of development from egg to adult moth depends on the species, temperature and nutrient substrate and can take several weeks to several months.


The actual damage is cause by the larval stage, i.e. the caterpillars. They feed on stored products, produce cocoons and contaminate the foodstuffs with them and their droppings. Material pest moth larvae cause damage by eating holes in, for example, textiles.

Control of Pests and Moths



Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella)

Cacao moth (Ephestia elutella)

Mediterranean flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella)

Angoumois grain moth (Sitotroga cerealella)

Corn moth (Nemapogon granella)

Cork moth (Nemapogon cloacellus)


Common clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella)

Case-bearing clothes moth (Tinea pellionella)