Currently viewing the category: "Clothes Moth and Meal Moth Caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, CA
January 31, 2016 12:39 pm
I have found a few of these in my home.
What are they.
Signature: Dave Douthett

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Dave,
This is a Household Casebearer,
Phereoeca uterella, a common household pest.  According to BugGuide:  “The larval case is silk-lined inside and open at both ends. The case is constructed by the earliest larval stage (1st instar) before it hatches, and is enlarged by each successive instar. In constructing the case, the larva secretes silk to build an arch attached at both ends to the substrate. Very small particles of sand, soil, iron rust, insect droppings, arthropod remains, hairs and other fibers are added on the outside. The inside of the arch is lined exclusively by silk, and is gradually extended to form a tunnel, while the larva stays inside. The tunnel is closed beneath by the larva to form a tube free from the substrate, and open at both ends. After the first case is completed, the larva starts moving around, pulling its case behind. With each molt, the larva enlarges its case. Later cases are flattened and widest in the middle, allowing the larva to turn around inside.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wierd bug
Location: Minnesota
November 16, 2015 10:57 am
Looked like a crumpled up tissue then it moved and a head came out like a turtle in a shell
Signature: Na

Case Making Clothes Moth Larva

Case Making Clothes Moth Larva

Dear Na,
This looks like a Case Making Clothes Moth Larva to us, and though you did not indicate if it was found among wool or silk clothes, the image on fabric supports that it may have been found in a closet.  See BugGuide for more images and information including that they:  “Feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, upholstered furniture, leather, fish meals, milk powders, lint, dust or paper. Often infesting carpets, especially in damp areas.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird worm creature
Location: Singapore
January 17, 2015 9:47 am
Hi there… I hope you can help identify this creature in my bathroom… It’s only seen in my bathroom. It freaks me out. Please help identify this.
About 1.5cm long. Has a leaf shaped soft shell it can crawl out from both ends.
Signature: Sandra from Singapore

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Sandra,
The Case Bearing Moth Larva or Household Casebearer,
Phereoeca fallax, is a common household pest that is found in many parts of the world.  You individual has a very distinctly marked case.  According to BugGuide:  “The larval case is silk-lined inside and open at both ends. The case is constructed by the earliest larval stage (1st instar) before it hatches, and is enlarged by each successive instar. In constructing the case, the larva secretes silk to build an arch attached at both ends to the substrate. Very small particles of sand, soil, iron rust, insect droppings, arthropod remains, hairs and other fibers are added on the outside. The inside of the arch is lined exclusively by silk, and is gradually extended to form a tunnel, while the larva stays inside. The tunnel is closed beneath by the larva to form a tube free from the substrate, and open at both ends. After the first case is completed, the larva starts moving around, pulling its case behind. With each molt, the larva enlarges its case. Later cases are flattened and widest in the middle, allowing the larva to turn around inside.”  The bold black and white spiral pattern on your individual’s case is likely due to fibers that were incorporated in the making of the case.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Never seen anything like it.

Location: Victoria, Australia
December 9, 2014 3:19 pm
I have no idea what this bug is. I’m pretty sure they’re falling out of my roof through the fan in my bathroom.
It doesn’t necessarily look like a bug but they do move.
It’s about as long as a thumb nail and looks like a dirty bit of roof insulation.
Signature: TC

Case Bearing Moth Larva, we presume

Case Bearing Moth Larva, we presume

Dear TC,
We can’t imagine that this is anything other than a Case Bearing Moth Larva, though it looks different from individuals we are used to seeing, perhaps because it is using distinctly Australian building materials.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

November 13, 2014

Dear Mr. Marlos:
I found the attached, tiny cocoon-like item in my sink (of all places) the other day. When i pressed on it, out came the pictured worm. I don’t know whether to be sorry that I interrupted its chrysalis sleep or not. I suppose it depends on whether it was destined to be a beautiful butterfly or a garden pest. Can you help me to (hopefully) alleviate my guilt?
Mark Kulkis

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Mr. Kulkis,
How nice to hear from you.  This is a Case Bearing Moth Larva and it is a common household intruder.  We have one amazing image in our archives of a pack of Case Bearing Moth Larvae eating a dog biscuit.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange bug
Location: Naples, FL
October 25, 2014 2:15 pm
Yesterday I found a bug in the bathroom, a type I have never seen before. Since we occasionally have silver fish, I thought it might be an odd looking one. Then today I saw something move ever so slightly at the rug’s edge [an area rug in the den]. Closer checking and it looked just like the bug I found yesterday. I got a magnifying glass and tried to figure out what it might be. I spent the last 90 minutes searching the web as best I can. No luck. I’m as puzzled now as ever. I will attach a couple of photos, though not the best, but the best I could do.
The bug measures 5/8 inches by 1/4 inch. Color appears to me to be a tan or ivory and the head appears to be a redish color.
Any ideas?
Signature: Charles Sebrell

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Case Bearing Moth Larva

case bearing moth larva

Dear Daniel Marlos,
Bravo!
That was quick.  My thanks.  I have now checked it out with that title.  Must admit, I have never seen one before.
My sincere thanks!
charles sebrell
naples, fl
Life is just simpler if you plow around the stumps.

Dear Charles,
Thanks so much for your kind response to our terse identification of a Case Bearing Moth Larva.  We have decided that your original written request was so nicely worded and your response was so kind that we retroactively determined to go live with a posting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination