IdentificationThe moth has a wing expanse of 14-17 mm; when at rest, the wings folded to a roof over the body, it is 8-11 mm long. The adult moth has brownish grey forewings crossed with two light bands. The hindwings are paler and plain grey. 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.
DescriptionThe Tobacco Moth is an introduced pest species of moth. Often found in warehouses and other areas where food or tobacco is stored. The Tobacco Moth feeds on cocoa beans and tobacco, but also infests nuts, dried fruit and cereals. Adult moths do not feed. The larval feeding cause the most damage due to contamination with excrement and cocoons is immense. Besides tobacco, the pest infests cocoa, nuts, dried fruits, coffee, corn maize, wheat and spice 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.