Wax moth


The greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella) and lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella) are major pests of stored or unattended combs.

The greater wax moth causes the most damage; however, the lesser wax moth is generally more common, and can also cause significant damage.

The two species tend to coexist, and are frequently found in the same location.

Once the environmental conditions are favourable, adult wax moth activity will rise, with an ever-increasing population dependent on available food.

It is in the best interest of a beekeeper to minimise any damage by understanding the life cycle of the pest and taking measures, in the field and within comb storage areas, to reduce wax moth numbers and restrict their reproduction.

This Primefact contains information on:

  • the greater wax moth life cycle
  • the influence of temperature on the life cycle
  • preventing damage from larvae
  • the use of phosphine, carbon dioxide fumigation, bacteria, parasitic wasps and insect zappers as control methods for wax moth


Primefact 658 First Edition

Published: 01 Aug 2007