Tobacco Moth (Warehouse or Cocoa Moth)

Category: OLI
Minimum Life Cycle: One to six months.
Distribution: Temperate areas; a serious pest, attacking many raw and processed products.
Eggs - Up to 270 eggs laid on or near produce.
Larvae - Move to and over produce, feeding and spinning threads that can form webs.
Pupae - Form in cracks nearby.
Adults - Non feeding; short lived; fly particularly at dawn and dusk toward top or roof of store.

Tobacco Moth (Ephestia elutella). The tobacco moth is smaller, but similar to the Mediterranean flour moth. The forewings are gray with two lighter bands and are bordered by black scales. This moth can infest a wide range of cereal, vegetable, seed, and tobacco products. This insect also produces large amounts of silk webbing (Figure 10).

(Slide and top caption courtesy of ICI Americas, Inc.)

illustration of a tobacco moth

Figure 10. Tobacco moth (warehouse or cocoa moth).