Tiny moths in the house can be one of several species. Moths can be carried into the home in grocery bags or other items, or they may fly in open doors and windows. Once they have infested the home, they quickly multiply. Exposed or spilled food, or open food items can increase the chance of infestation.

Crumbs should be cleaned up promptly to avoid attracting moths.

Indianmeal Moths

In most cases, tiny moths found flying around the home are Indianmeal moths. This species is a common problem in stored food. Adult Indianmeal moths have a wingspan of about 3/4 inch or less. The outer part of the wings is reddish brown, while the rest of the moth is grayish-white. Larvae are usually off-white and 1/2 inch or less. The adult female sometimes lays several hundred eggs, leading to hundreds of insects if the problem isn't controlled.

Clothes Moths

People often mistake small flying moths for clothes moths, but clothes moths are not attracted to light and are weak fliers, according to University of California Integrated Pest Management Program. These moths are only about 1/4-inch long and have tan or copper colored wings. Typically these moths run or hop rather than fly. Female clothes moths only fly after they have laid their eggs, so killing a single flying clothes moth won't necessarily eliminate the problem.

Other Pantry Moths

Other species of pantry moths or grain moths typically behave in the same manner as Indianmeal moths. Pantry moths breed in uncovered food, such as open boxes of pancake mix, flour or dog food. Webbing on an open box of food is evidence that small flying moths are breeding in the food product. Pantry moths typically fly in or around the kitchen area of a house.


Cleanliness is the best solution for avoiding infestation with tiny flying moths. Avoid leaving food exposed or leaving spills unattended. Occasionally vacuum out-of-the-way locations -- such as behind and under furniture and appliances -- because these are areas where food crumbs may have fallen unnoticed. Also periodically clean the back of drawers and remove drawers to pick up crumbs that may have fallen behind them. Store food in tight-fitting containers; glass containers are the best choice to discourage moth infestation. In most cases, good sanitation will prevent or correct problems with grain moths. If more help is needed, contact a reputable pest control company.