Are the following insects a pantry moth or a clothes moth? I live in Europe, if geographical location is of importance in this case.

moth 1 moth 2 moth 3

The insects are about 7 - 10 mm in length.

For several months I have been fighting with recurring invasion of pantry moths and those were caught in pantry moth pheromone trap. However, the specimens seem to be smaller than the pantry moths that I have been fighting a couple of months before (I have read that clothes moths are smaller) and I have seen some flying near the wardrobes. I couldn't find traces of infestation in the food as well. Is it possible for clothes moth to be attracted by pantry moth pheromones?


2 Answers 2


Although the images are very grainy and oddly lit, the second two images look a lot like a pantry moth. Specifically, it reminds me of a very common pantry pest:

Plodia interpunctella (Indian-meal moth).

enter image description here

Source: Urban & Structural Entomology, Texas A&M University, USA

Range: [source]

The Indian-meal moth can be found on all inhabited continents. Although it is primarily tropical, it can live in a range of habitats and is a very common nuisance pest in food storage facilities and people's pantries worldwide.

Description: [source]

  • 7-10 mm long (wing span ~ 1-1.5 cm)
  • Wing color: -Posterior 1/2 of wing red/brown/bronze -Anterior 1/3 of wing is white/light gray / ochre-yellow
    • Separated by dark band
  • Body color: reddish-brown

Pest Info: [source]

  • Adults live 5-7 days
  • Females lay 60-300 eggs
  • Eggs hatch in 2 - 14 days
  • Larvae do all of the destruction
    • Can even eat through plastic to get to food! [source]
    • Common Foods: Cornmeal, flour, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, health foods, pet foods.

The first picture is of a Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella). The uniform gold colour of the wings (with shiny dust that easily comes off) is diagnostic. The second and third pictures appear to be Pantry moths.

I could not find a scientific reference, so I describe my own observations below. Happy to delete this if it is not appropriate.

Both species mostly are caught in the trap with the matching pheromone. A few are caught in the "wrong" trap, and both are caught on a trap with no pheromone at all (a control).

In this case it looks like the moths pretty much are attracted to their own pheromone trap, and only caught in the wrong trap by accident.

Clothes moth trap (with pheromone bait above)

Clothes moth trap (with pheromone bait above it) enter image description here

Pantry moth trap above enter image description here

Control trap above - no pheromone


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