Scientific name: Ephestia cautella
In the USA this moth is commonly known as the Almond Moth. Also referred in other countries as Cocoa Bean Moth, Dried Currant Moth, Fig Moth, Tropical Warehouse Moth, Warehouse Moth.
Adult moth is gray and has a wingspan of 13-21mm. It is easily confused with the Mediterranean Flour Moth as they look very similar. One distinguishing characteristic is darting and rapid wing movement. The fully developed larvae are brown with purple spots on it’s back.
The Almond Moth is a major pest of stored food products worldwide. It infests… almonds :-), raisins, dried figs and dates, grains, seeds, shelled nuts, cocoa beans, carob, various meals and flours. Infestations have been reported in cereals and chocolate manufacturing facilities.
Larvae are able to chew through foil wrapping to infest protected products. The larvae cause damage by contaminating foodstuffs with frass or silk webbing. This silk webbing produced by the caterpillars can block and subsequently damage the machinery of flour mills and food processing plants.
After just 70 days in a facility, the presence of the Almond moth can cause damages and losses of over 60% of the stock, making this stored product moth an economically important pest.