Currently viewing the category: "Pantry Moths, Clothes Moths, Case-Bearers and Meal Moths"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

T-shaped white bug
Location: Manhattan (Union Square)
June 4, 2011 7:11 pm
Hi,
I found this bug on the bathroom wall at my job in Manhattan on June 2. It sort of reminded me of a sun-bleached cow skull. It was about an inch and a half long. I’m not sure if it had wings or not because it was mostly sitting motionless.
Sorry about the crappiness of the photo. I took it with my camera phone.
Signature: Dennis

T-Bug Plume Moth

Dear Dennis,
We just finished postdating an identification request for a Plume Moth, however it won’t go live until next week.  Our readers often write in wanting the T Bug identified and we just checked our search engine because we always identify Plum Moths as T-Bugs, but alas, the search engine is too broad to locate any of those postings.  Google also doesn’t have a sensitive enough setting to be directed to a Plume Moth posting after typing in T-Bug.  We really like the elegance and simplicity of your photograph.  We like the division of space into 3/4 light and 1/4 dark areas.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES THIS BUG IS PARASITIC? OR MAYBE ITS PARASITES PARASITIC?
Location: Urban ”forest” Surrey BC
May 13, 2011 2:31 pm
Dear Mr. Bug man
moved into ground level condo one year ago 3 months ago rash developed. shortly there after began seeing moth like winged guys (once or twice) very late at night in kitchen. Got extermination stuff. dr said the moth and rash were not related and that rash was scabies. Did treatment washed everything in house steamed extra. while doing scabies treatment small slightly transparent creature came out of my eye and then went under my fingernail. Husband dr. and mother think I am crazy. Other strange occurrences. Husband acnologes moths as pests but refuses to believe my story. I have been under stress at work… dr says the mind is very powerful and my stress has triggered these delusions.
Can you give any insight into this?
Heres some specimens i have collected. There are also ”lint” like cases attached to many of our clothes… which everyone also says I am over reacting to…. Ive never had so much lint. also had two budgies recently die…. related? or have I gone mad?
im hoping I have gone mad…
Christina
Signature: An otherwise normal happy slightly exentric housewife

Indian Meal Moth

Dear Christina,
We need to begin our response with a disclaimer.  We are not doctors and we have no qualifications to diagnose any health related issues, nor are we entomologists, so any insect identifications we provide are questionable at best.  We are artists who have a mission to promote an appreciation of the lower beasts as well as to make people aware of the interconnectivity of all things on our fragile planet and beyond.  With that stated, we are convinced that the moth in your photo is an Indian Meal Moth,
Plodia interpunctella, and that you have also supplied us with a photo of its larva.  You may find information and photos of the Indian Meal Moth on Bugguide and you can also compare your larva to this image of an Indian Meal Moth Larva on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the Indian Meal Moth:  “infests a wide variety of stored food products such as flour, oatmeal, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, powdered milk, biscuits, chocolate, and bird seed”   With that said, it is senseless to try to exterminate your Indian Meal Moth problem with pesticides since they are feeding on your food.  The pesticides would need to be applied directly to your food before they would have any effect on the problem.  You should thoroughly inspect the food in your pantry and definitely discard anything past the expiration date.  Pay close attention to corn meal, oatmeal and any boxed cake mixes or flour products.  You should be able to locate the place where the larvae are feeding and dispose of those items.  Larvae are the destructive stage and adult moths do not feed on stored foods.  It is virtually impossible to rid you home of all insects, but you can take certain precautions to guard your clothing against clothes moths.  Sachet was a popular item in days of yore.  There are certain herbs that are known to discourage insects from damaging clothing.  These dried herbs can be sewn into small silken pouches and hung on hangers with woolens and other organic fibers.  The herbs of choice include lavender, sage, rosemary, wormwood and peppermint.  Not only will this sachet repel moths, it will also make your clothes smell nice.  We do not know what caused your birds to die.  If your doctor believes that stress is contributing to your condition, you should follow his advice or perhaps seek a second opinion.  There is a condition known as Delusory Parasitosis and here is a link to a journal article called Delusory Parasitosis by Nancy C. Hinkle that originally appeared in American Entomologist, Volume 46, Number 1 in Spring 2000.  Stress can cause the mind to trigger delusions, and “Bugs” are an easy target.  We hope your condition improves.

Larva of Indian Meal Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination