What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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…
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
Location: Canada

7 Responses to Indian Meal Moths and possibly Delusory Parasitosis

  1. Johnny Tompkins says:

    I’m having problem with feeling bug like and worm like thingcrawling under skin What ever they are there fast thay have hair like spikes on there back I’ve done scabbies treatment and the bug is not little and when I’m around a lot of heat they go crazy and one came out and died it looked like a antcrickit and has darkish like stinger as a tale

    • Anonymous Me says:

      I am having similar problems. I’m just at a loss. I just can’t live like this. I don’t know what to do. The last time I told someone about it they sent me to a state mental institution. I have only been home a cpl months and its worse than it ever has been. I’m in a nightmare all alone and I am so afraid.

    • Vikki says:

      I think my dogs have what you have. I have been to the vet 8 times. It is real! I am having a hard time getting someone to believe me. I have a lot of pics but I guess they are unbelievable.

  2. Diane says:

    Dear God I’ve had similar my dog definitely has as well praying for us all

  3. Chanelle Zerbe says:

    I have “worms” under my fingernails and scalp. Just about everywhere. I recently had extracted myself tiny brown bugs. Most are very tiny, but are shaped like oval)round do brown black. Itch ALL OVER! Dogs too! I’ve found some in my bedding and TONS OF SILK FIBERS RIGHER ATTATCHED TO THRN IR STOUND YHRM. The white/silver tiny silk fibers look like kitten hair. I will find them under my bed etc. They also come out if my skin when treated with a heavy dose if steroid cream. I recently came across a close up u took of one of my bloody Abcesses. I looked closer and saw a worm with a head anteanba and thorax, segmented worm body, and z bizarre hook or what looks like a crab claw at the end of its tail. I contacted the CDC and advised that u think I have a caddisflies infection. Anyone else see tiny tiny gnat like flies in the house or pulled from skin;? Caddisflies also have silk threads that come from their heads to form nets/coccoon to catch food. My investigation continued. 4 years

  4. Spores says:

    I know this post is old as hell but I just want to add this in case someone reads this and has questions.

    OP mentioned that they had birds, and that could actually be important here.

    I’ve owned several birds and worked at stores that actually keep / raise / sell them, and meal moths? They go apeshit over birdfood. Seeds, pellets, mix of the two. They will make themselves at home, complete with setting themselves up with their webby larva-wiggling nests, in birdfood containers in barely a week. And the majority of the time, if you buy the food in bulk? Theres already a good number of moths in there (and snout weevils, maize weevils, and cigarette beetles too.) Even if you’ve got the most perfect and clean arrangement, you can still get a bags worth of the bastards out of nowhere. In my opinion, birdfood is the easiest way to bring a ready-made infestation into your house. That’s why a lot of people are really consistent in their routine of keeping bags of birdfood in the freezer for around 12 hours before trusting the contents. Makes sure no little bastards will come climbing out a la trojan horse.

    The other thing is, theres kind of a split of opinion among bird owners about whether birdfood thats had bugs in it can make a bird sick. I don’t know if that would matter, but op mentioned losing two budgies and it came to mind.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You have pictures of real insects you have identified, and the only real proof being testimony of the physically identified rash, the start of proof, verified and treated by the doctor. Why bring up PD?

    Why is this PD thing being promoted out there by people who have not got a hope of knowing enough to identify evidence of unknown parasites off hand, even having seen the evidence, relying on conjecture instead, when the only way to identify, is to do detailed examination and identification of features of samples. That is delusional, imagining that evidence in front of oneself, somehow, doesn’t exist.

    You know we only know a small part of the spectrum of what is out there. Our knowledge is fragmentary, sparse, and fleeting. We don’t have enough knowledge to dismiss all evidence out of hand, only enough evidence to maybe prove something. A lack of conclusion in science, is only an lack of evidence as to what the evidence is.

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