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Ephestia elutella (Hübn.)
Warehouse (Stored Tobacco) Moth


The moth has a wing ewpanse of 14-17 mm; when at rest, the wings folded to a roof over the body, it is 8-11 mm long. The grey to brown-grey forewings have wavy transverse bands with dark borders. The caterpillars are whitish, yellowish or reddish (depending on nutrition) with brown head and neck shields. They grow to a length of 10-15 mm.

Life History:

The female deposits about 100 eggs, singly or in small clusters. The caterpillars cover the infested goods with webbing. Pupation occurs in a cocoon. The development period depends on warmth and nutrition. Depending on the season, complete development takes 2-6 months. Mass reproduction only in temperate climates, here also in outside locations.


Practically all temperate-zone countries.


The caterpillars live on dry vegetable materials such as grain, nuts, cocoa beans, chocolate goods, tobacco, herbs, dried fruits, mainly in such places as warehouses, chocolate factories, drugstores.

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