Little worms in white paper houses
Dear Bugman, I recently moved to Florida to a just constructed home. I have a monthly bug service that I pay for dearly, as our new home had cockroaches before it was even occupied. Now I keep finding a very strange bug in my bathroom. It is a little tiny reddish worm carrying a big (1/4 inch long) paper shell, acutally dragging it around. The shell looks similar to a large sunflower seed in shape, but is white and papery. When you go near them, they retreat into the little shell. Then when they think it’s safe, they pop out of the end and start akwardly dragging the shell around again. I keep picking them up and tossing them outside, but everytime I go into my bathroom there are more of them. Yesterday when I was taking a bath, one crawled up out of my bubblebath, pulling his little paper shell with him. Now that’s the last straw for me. Yuck! What could these things be? None of my neighbors have ever seen or heard of such a thing. They suggested silverfish, but I know what they look like and these definatley are not silverfish.
Leslie M*^^!##s

Hi Leslie,
You have Case-Bearing Moth larvae. The small larvae carry a noticeable case made of fine sand and debris. The case, which is about a quarter to half an inch long, is flattened on top and bottom, expanded at its center and tapered at both ends. They are often found on walls (both outside and inside) of houses and other structures. Larvae are said to feed primarily on insect remains, fur, flannel, and hair: they do not seem to be a clothes pest. We have gotten many letters from Florida regarding Case Bearing Moths.

Update: Invasion of Privacy????? (03/22/2008)
March 22, 2008
We are writing to you on behalf of Leslie M*^^!##s. She has asked us to contact you to see if you will consider removing the content about her … Please allow us to introduce ourselves. We are ReputationDefender, Inc., a company dedicated to helping our clients preserve their good name on the Internet. Our founders and employees are all regular Internet users. Like our clients, and perhaps like you, we think the Internet is sometimes unnecessarily hurtful to the privacy and reputations of everyday people. Even content that is meant to be informative can sometimes have a significant and negative impact on someone’s job prospects, student applications, and personal life. We invite you to learn more about who we are, at [web address removed] . When our clients sign up with our service, we undertake deep research about them on the Internet to see what the Web is saying about them. We find sites where they are discussed, and we ask our clients how they feel about those sites. Sometimes our clients express strong reservations about the content on particular websites. They may feel hurt, ashamed, or “invaded” by the content about them on those sites. As you may know, more and more prospective employers, universities, and newfound friends and romantic interests undertake Internet research, and the material they find can strongly impact their impressions of the people they are getting to know. When people apply for jobs, apply for college or graduate school, apply for loans, begin dating, or seek to do any number of other things with their lives, hurtful content about them on the Internet can have a negative impact on their opportunities. At some point or another, most of us say things about ourselves or our friends and acquaintances we later regret. We’re all human, and we all do it! We are writing to you today because our client, Ms. M*^^!##s, has told us that she would like the content about her on your website to be removed as she considers it outdated. Would you be willing to remove or alter the content? Simply omitting her last name would be more than sufficient. It would mean so much to Ms. M*^^!##s, and to us. Considerate actions such as these will go a long way to help make the Internet a more civil place. Thank you very much for your consideration. We are mindful that matters like these can be sensitive. We appreciate your time. Please let us know if you have removed or changed the content on this site by sending an e-mail to: [email address removed]. If another individual would be more appropriate to contact on this matter, we’d be grateful if you could forward this message to him or her. Yours sincerely,
ReputationDefender Service Team

Hello Bistra,
Though it is time consuming, we can provide a do-over for her by removing Ms M*^^!##s name from our website post haste. We never intended to invade her privacy. We merely posted a query letter she willingly sent to our site. We would hate to impact her potential dating opportunities, her chances of getting into a university (we would never forgive ourselves if this was a deal breaker with Harvard) or her chances of getting a lucrative job merely because of the world knowing that she had Case Bearing Moths in her bathroom. It is sad that potential love connections and employers could be so cruel and insensitive when a good look at their own closets, kitchen cupboards or bathrooms might reveal an infestation of carpet beetles, meal moths or bathroom flies. Our sympathies go out to Ms. M*^^!##s and we wish her all the luck in her subsequent internet romances, post graduate work, and securing that six figure income now that she cannot be connected to Case Bearing Moth Larvae on the internet.

Our readership weighs in:
On the ” Leslie M*^^!##s” thing.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this young woman probably had a problem with an entirely different place all together. Or perhaps had no problem at all and this company is phishing. Either way, they just did an internet search for her name and, since it came up on your site, they mailed you. That’s my opinion and can be taken as such. This sort of thing always makes me mail the person in question to see if it’s true. Bye! Love your site!
Jill Sylvan

Invasion of Privacy
Dear What’s That Bug,
At first I thought that your letter from the ReputationDefender team was a joke since it was one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. Ironically, I think that worse than having your name associated with a picture of a Case Bearing Moth Larvae in your bathroom, is being associated with a “reputation defender team” trying to get your name removed from being associated with a picture of a Case Bearing Moth Larvae in your bathroom! Personally, I would feel honored to have my name as one of those privileged few who have had their pictures and/or letters posted on such a respected and loved web site. In fact, I wouldn’t want to have as friends or employers those who would think that writing such a letter to What’s That Bug would be liability. Some of the coolest and most interesting people I know are those who are frequent visitors to this site. Keep up the good work!
Laura from NJ

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14 Responses to Case Bearing Moths

  1. Mack says:


    I’m writing from Dominican Republic. I’ve come across several of these creatures over the months but I didn’t know what they were.
    My guess was they were somehow related to the termites that had infested my doors a couple months ago. It was only today that I saw one dragging its shell around across the bathroom floor. Florida’s not so far away. I wonder where else you can find them.


    • bugman says:

      They are cosmopolitan at this point, and they can be found most places humans are living.

    • Sharyn says:

      Mack, we have them in Cape Town, South Africa too. I always thought they were silverfish pupae, but evidently silverfish don’t go through that extreme a metamorphosis. So thanks to whatsthatbug for my new-found knowledge.

  2. Mack says:


    I’m writing from Dominican Republic. I’ve come across several of these creatures over the months but I didn’t know what they were.
    My guess was they were somehow related to the termites that had infested my doors a couple months ago. It was only today that I saw one dragging its shell around across the bathroom floor. Florida’s not so far away. I wonder where else you can find them.


  3. Lenore Klass says:

    I have had these bugs fr some time now, starting with one i found in a grandfathers clock I brought from California to Kauai, HI. I am not finding more. They look just like the one above. What kind of moth do they turn into? Will I get morer

  4. Sharon dear marc says:

    OK now we know that these bugs have a name–case bearing moths…so how do we get rid of them is what I’d like to know

    • Ellen Shockley Shockley says:

      yeah, how do we get rid of them?

      • bugman says:

        We do not provide extermination advice.

        • Carlos Garcia says:

          Good for you. That’s what I love about this site. All life is sacred and should be treated as such. Even thought that is very difficult to do some times especially for us humans.

          • bugman says:

            Thanks for reminding us of this old posting. We got quite a chuckle when we reread our response to the Reputation Defender Service Team.

  5. VW says:

    W.Africa here…We have them too. all over…I get out the vaccum and get rid of them…

  6. Jennifer says:

    We also have these in India, i see many of them in my house, not sure how to get rid of them. Is vaccum only the way to remove them?

  7. Proma says:

    Hey, What’s that bug! Thank you forbthe info on the Case Bearing Moth Larvae. I keep seeing these, seen one recently in my bathroom, and had no clue about what it was. I really am leaving a comment to let you know that your reply to the ReputationDefender Service Team has made my day. Best of luck to you!

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