Currently viewing the category: "Pantry Moths, Clothes Moths, Case-Bearers and Meal Moths"
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.

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Indian Meal Moth

Indian Meal Moth

Subject: What kind of moths are these?
Location: Queens, NY
October 20, 2014 12:02 pm
My girlfriend has been finding a bunch of these (what I believe to be) moths in her bedroom; one night, she encountered 10. To me, they resemble Indian Meal Moths. We typically find these at night, but that might just be a coincidence as we’re at work during the day.
We’ve never seen them flying around; whenever we turn on the lights, they just don’t move.
The door to the bedroom is right next to the entrance to the kitchen, which led me to believe that they were Indian Meal Moths, but there are no moths in the kitchen.
Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to your response.
Signature: AG

Dear AG,
Clean out the pantry, paying especial attention to grain products and nuts.  You have Indian Meal Moths and the Caterpillars are eating your stored dry goods.

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Subject: Carpet Moth/Beetle
Location: United Kingdom
April 14, 2014 2:16 am
Good Morning, Please see photos of bugs collected from carpet with rice like cocoons?? Can you identify what the bug is and what the rice bits are. There are areas of carpet which have clearly been eaten and we need to identify the problem.
Many thanks
Signature: Ashley Clarke

Case Bearing Clothes Moths and Woodlice

Casemaking Clothes Moths and Woodlice

Hi Ashley,
The “bugs” are Woodlice or Pillbugs, and though they might be a nuisance indoors, they are not eating your carpet.  They are attracted to damp conditions.  The rice like cocoons appear to be the cases of Casemaking Clothes Moths,
Tinea pellionella, a species that will eat wool rugs and clothes and we believe that is the source of the damage.  According to BugGuide, the larvae feed on:  “Feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, upholstered furniture, leather, fish meals, milk powders, lint, dust or paper.”  The larvae, not the adult moths, are responsible for the damage.  It appears that one of the cases in the center of your “collection” is a different species in the same family, a Household Casebearer Moth case, Phereoeca uterella, which according to BugGuide:  “feed on old spider webs; may also eat woolen goods of all kinds if the opportunity arises.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Larval cases can be found on wool rugs and wool carpets, hanging on curtains, or under buildings, hanging from subflooring, joists, sills and foundations; also found on exterior of buildings in shaded places, under farm sheds, under lawn furniture, on stored farm machinery, and on tree trunks.”

Many thanks really helpful
Regards,
Ashley

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Meal moths and case bearing moths
February 21, 2014 10:57 am
Thanks so much for your extremely helpful site!
I’ve read your identification responses for both the Indian meal moths and the case bearing moths. I was wondering if the Indian Meal Moths also make the flat pods. I have found worms, cases and moths in my house for months now.
We moved to Puerto Rico from Maryland and I believe we unpacked the pests after they sat in a shipping container for two months. We threw away everything that we thought was contaminated, but they seem to be back! Just wondering if all three are maybe the same thing or if we have two kinds of bugs.
Thanks for any help!
Signature: Sara

Thanks for the nice compliment.  You are probably thinking of the Case Bearing Moth Larvae which are different than the Indian Meal Moths.

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Subject: Little Brown Moths everywhere
Location: Northern Virginia
February 2, 2014 7:10 am
These little guys seem to have taken up residence in my home Springfield, VA. Mostly in the kitchen but they show up in the bathrooms etc too. Seem to be coming form within the house but I am not sure. I have brought some old firewood in this winter. Any help on an ID is greatly appreciated.
Signature: tom in Springfield, va

Indian Meal Moth

Indian Meal Moth

Dear Tom,
This is an Indian Meal Moth,
Plodia interpunctella, a species with larvae that infest stored grain products, including flour and corn meal.  Check your pantry to see if you have a forgotten container of oatmeal that has become infested.  You can read more about the Indian Meal Moth on BugGuide.

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Subject: Grub type worm
Location: South central PA (Amish country)
October 12, 2013 6:44 am
I have these little yellowish grub type worms crawling up my walls, I had to remove the ceiling tiles to get at them. Every morning and every day I get home from work I collect anywhere from 15-30 of them and I have no clue where they are coming from. What little food I have in my house is all sealed and they’re not coming from my trash can. Usually in the morning I find them hanging by I guess a web they make off the ceiling. It’s been a week now and I can’t get rid of them. They’re just more of a nuisance now. They have little legs and a brown head. I think they are forming into these little brown moths of some sort because I seen a couple flying around.
Signature: Steele H.

Possibly Indian Mealworms

Possibly Indian Mealworms

Subject: Grub type worm? (2nd attempt)
Location: Lancaster County, Pa
October 13, 2013 8:58 am
Got a some kind of bugs in my kitchen. They navigate toward the ceiling. I collect about 15-30 every morning and when I get home from work. Don’t know what they are, where they’re coming from or how to get rid of them.
Signature: Irritated

Possibly Indian Mealworms

Possibly Indian Mealworms

Dear Steele,
We hope you are not irritated with us for not responding yesterday.  We had a very busy day doing public service planning and organizing a ten year anniversary commemoration of Heidelberg Park and we did not answer as many letters as we do in a more typical day.  We believe these are the larvae of Indian Meal Moths, or Indian Mealworms,
Plodia interpunctella.  See BugGuide for verification.  They infest stored grain products like corn meal, oatmeal and even pet food and bird seed.  You are correct that they metamorphose into the moths you are finding.  We suggest you thoroughly search the pantry for the source of the infestation.  If they are appearing in the numbers you indicate, the infestation should not be too difficult to locate.

Thank you very much!! That is what they are!!! Now I just have to get rid of them.  Guess I have to trash what little food I have in my cabinets!! Thank you again!! And I am glad that you offer your help for people like me! I searched all over google and couldn’t find a thing to what they were.
Sincerely
-Steele

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination