Currently viewing the category: "Pantry Moths, Clothes Moths, Case-Bearers and Meal Moths"
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Worm like creature
Location: Newport, South Wales , United Kingdom
May 10, 2011 8:10 am
Hello
After recently cleaning under my bed (The first time in a while) I came across a worm like creature no longer than _____ this space when constricted.
They appear to have what seems to be some material wrapped around their torso for protection/domicile/cocooning and stretch outward to pull much like a snail does.
I found them mostly individually and around collections of dust.
I would like to know what this bug may be and whether I may have a possible infestation ?
I found close to thirty of them in my bedroom, the warmest room in the house.
Thank you for any feedback you could give me.
Signature: Mr R Heaney

Case Bearing Moth Larvae

Dear Mr R Heaney,
You have relatively benign Case Bearing Moth Larvae.  They feed on natural animal fibers, and while it is possible that they might damage a wool rug, they are more likely than not feeding upon shed pet hair.  Vacuuming more regularly should help to control their prodigious numbers.

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What is this bug?
ILocation: celing of pantry and just outside the pantry
March 10, 2011 12:21 am
I am hoping you can ID this bug.
Signature: Bill

Indian Meal Moth

Hi Bill,
You have Indian Meal Moths,
Plodia interpunctella, a cosmopolitan species that has adapted to feeding on stored foods in domiciles.  Often the first indication that there is an infestation is the adult moths feebly fluttering in the kitchen or in front of the television set.  The adult moths do not feed on grain products, but the larvae do.  The presence of the adult Indian Meal Moths should be a signal to check the pantry for infested grains, cookies and other similar products.  They have also been known to infest bird seed and pet food.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s my bug?!
Location: Irvine, California 92612
February 17, 2011 6:34 pm
Hi,
Living in Southern California. Have searched and searched and can’t find anything resembling there. They have a papery outer shell, and the head protrudes by only a couple of mm.. These pictures are of them feeding off a dog biscuit – when I’ve left one they turn up within an hour from under the baseboard. This is the most so far (16). They are mobile but very slow as the head / thorax comes out and drags the rest of the papery shell along.
Signature: Many thanks, Toby

Case Bearing Moth Larvae

Hi Toby,
Your image of an infestation of Case Bearing Moth Larvae has us aghast.  We have never seen documentation of so many in one place at one time.  Most identification quests for this cosmopolitan Household Intruder are of single individuals.  They feed on organic debris including shed pet hair.

 

Hi Daniel, thank you so much for getting back to me.  This is very interesting.
From what I can gather from the internet they’re pretty harmless, so I’ll leave them be for now.  Incidentally I tried them on a Lucky Charm but they seem to prefer the dog biscuit..  I think I’ve seen a maximum of 20 at one time, there are 16 in the pic I sent you.  Note also in the pic that there’s one emerging from the baseboard at the top, as well as a juvenile in the lower left.  Right now there are also a couple more making their way towards the biscuit across the bathroom floor, but they still have a yard or so to go.
Interesting also that they are _very_ alert – any motion around them and they go hide in their casings for a good 10 minutes.
Many thanks again, Toby.

Thanks for the update Toby.  We really enjoyed your observational account of the behavior of Case Bearing Moth Larvae.

Update:  July 26, 2014
Hi Dan,
Hope you’re well.
We’re very slowing relocating from Irvine to Utah.  The house here in CA is empty now and I’m slowly doing a final clear out and tidy up.
I’ve noticed a couple more Case Bearing Moth Larvae roaming around in the same area that I’d seen them back in 2011. I think I’ve seen the odd one in the years since then but infrequently and I’ve not really gone looking for them..
I’ve offered the obligatory dog biscuit so I’ll leave it for a day or so and see who turns up.
Thanks! Toby

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Help identifying a bug please
Location: Seattle WA
December 26, 2010 9:48 pm
Hi bugman,
I found these bugs underneath our bed while we were cleaning the house. They look like worms and they move by extending something from one end of their body and pulling themselves forward. Do you know what they are? My wife is freaking about this discovery.
Signature: Aaron

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Aaron,
This is a Case Bearing Moth Larva in the subfamily Tineinae, and we believe it is a Casemaking Clothes Moth,
Tinea pellionella.  According to BugGuide, they:  “Feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, upholstered furniture, leather, fish meals, milk powders, lint, dust or paper. Judging by the quantity of pet hair in your photo, they have an ample food supply.  Vacuuming under the bed more regularly to control pet hair should reduce the number of Case Bearing Moth Larvae you find in your home.

Thank you for the quick response Daniel, you’re awesome! :-) I’ll be making a donation to your website!
-Aaron K.

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Pod insect
Location: indoors on wall and on the floor
December 18, 2010 5:14 pm
Hi bugman,
I have these odd pods everywhere inside my home. I find them on the floor or attached to the walls…I am hoping for identification and of course I want to get rid of them! They are difficult to see unless they are on a white wall, I am afraid that they are in more places and I will have a few nasty surprises soon. I have searched your site already and the web but have found nothing similar. Many many thanks for any guidance
Signature: best

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear best,
Case Bearing Moth Larvae, like the one in your photograph, are often found indoors on walls.  They feed upon shed pet hair and other organic fibers, and the best way to control them is to meticulously vacuum away their food source.

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Tips for a bug-free move?
Location: New York, NY
November 8, 2010 7:30 pm
Hi Bugman,
I live in New York City–a.k.a. Bedbug Central–so when I found a bug on the rug in my closet a few weeks ago, I completely freaked out! I was pretty sure it wasn’t a bedbug–it didn’t look like any of the pictures I’d seen, I hadn’t been bitten, and a thorough search of my mattress and headboard turned up nothing. Still, I panicked!
Thanks to your website, I’m now confident that that bug–and a few that have subsequently appeared–are spider beetles and beetle larvae. (The latter look exactly like the many carpet beetle larvae photos on your site, and they curl up into a ball when touched.) They seem to love the dark corners of my closet (see photo). So far I’ve found two dead spider beetles in a hanging jewelry organizer that I keep in my closet, and a few live larvae–the one on the closet rug, one in a ratty old pair of slippers (which I immediately bagged and threw away!), and one crawling up the tile wall in my bathroom.
Here’s my question: In about a month I will be moving to a new apartment here in the city. Do you think it is worth having an exterminator visit as a precautionary measure? If not, will I run the risk of transporting these pests with me to my new pad? I’m not sure if hiring someone to inspect my stuff pre-move is a smart idea or a waste of money.
I’d also appreciate any tips on avoiding picking up bedbugs during a move. (The other day I saw a mover on the street with one of those filthy blankets that they use for padding, which just seems like asking for bedbugs to me!) I’m planning to pack all of my clothing and linens in sealed plastic containers, wrap my couch and mattress in plastic, and provide my own packing materials. Are there any other steps I can/should take?
Signature: R.D.

Dark Closet: What is lurking in there?????

Dear R.D.,
In our opinion, your desire for a bug free move is a fantasy, and the best advice that we could give you to attempt to accomplish that goal with anything vaguely resembling certainty will probably be rejected by you as an impossibility.  The best way to ensure that you will not take any bugs with you is to leave everything behind, including those nice wool sweaters hanging in the dark closet.  Especially leave all food behind.  Move into a brand new apartment in a brand new building that is composed entirely of synthetic materials.  When you purchase brand new clothes and furnishings, do not buy anything made with organic materials.  Never ever eat in your new home.  Do not store any food in the kitchen.  Make sure that you discard the clothing you are wearing before entering your new home and purchase synthetic clothing prior to your first visit.  Do not entertain nor ever allow any visitors to enter your new home.  There is no guarantee that you can have a bug free existence even with the extreme measures we have described.  We share this planet with insects and other bugs and they can be found most anywhere.  On a more practical level, the measures that you have described in your email sound like a good way to reduce the chances of transporting undesirable creatures from your existing apartment to the new place.  We agree that an inspector and a visit by the exterminator prior to the move is most likely a waste of money, especially since you already know you have Spider Beetles and Larvae in your home.  In our opinion, you probably have cause to be concerned about the moving company you employ and the dirty blankets they use to wrap belongings.  You may want to wash or have all your clothing and textiles professionally cleaned before moving.  Even that might be extreme unless you have cause to believe you have an infestation.  Since you have no evidence that there are Bed Bugs in your current household, you probably do not have them.  You have said nothing about Cockroaches which can also be transported while moving, or indeed, when bringing home groceries or laundry from the laundromat.  Creatures that are considered Household Pests have a nearly cosmopolitan distribution because of they way that they have adapted to living with humans.  These Household Pests include Carpet Beetles, Spider Beetles, Pantry Beetles, Clothes Moths, Cockroaches and others.  We also hope our readership will provide additional advice for you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination