A small moth, the caterpillars of which cause considerable damage to stored food products. As the name suggests it commonly attacks tobacco and cocoa, as well as grains, nuts, dried fruit and many other stored products. Adults are up to 10mm in length with greyish-brown wings and have dark double bands at the top and base of the wings (although these are frequently rubbed off). Similar in appearance to the Tropical Warehouse Moth where the wing markings are often less distinct (and the adults are less tolerant to temperature variances).
Up to 200 eggs are laid. There is usually only one generation per year, although under ideal conditions the lifecycle can be as brief as 12 weeks.
Controlling this pest requires careful inspection of all stored cereal foods and machinery, discarding the heavily infested material and cleaning away any debris. Where the infestation is extensive; a residual insecticide can be applied to the cracks and crevices around wall/floor and ceiling/floor junctions. Infestations of this moth in food processing facilities can be controlled by removing and destroying infested products and by using intensive cleaning and fumigation as required.