What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of bug is invading my house?!?!
Location: Concord, NC
February 4, 2013 11:37 am
The past few days I have seen numerous of these lil buggers in my house. Today I found three on the back of my couch laying eggs. What is this?
Signature: Tonya

Probably Winter Moth

Hi Tonya,
The photo is lacking in detail, but this appears like it might be a female Fall Cankerworm Moth,
Alsophila pometaria, and you can compare your individual to this photo on BugGuide and you can read about this species on BugGuide as well, which states:  “The larvae are often a serious pest of many tree species elsewhere, although it rarely reaches densities high enough to do damage in Alberta. The eggs are laid in clusters on tree branches and trunks by the wingless females and hatch the following spring, synchronized with the flush of leaves. There are four larval stages, which are described in detail by McGuffin (1988). Larvae pupate in the soil and delay their emergence until fall, spending about four summer months as a pupa. Females in at least some populations are able to reproduce parthenogenetically (without mating). (McGuffin 1988). (AEC)”.  After writing that, we found an even closer match in the female Winter Moth, Operophtera brumata, an invasive introduced species which we also found on BugGuide where it states:  “Native to Europe, introduced to Northeast and Pacific Northwest, pest species in areas such as Boston. Established in the NW since the 1970s” and “larvae feed on willow, trembling aspen, paper birch, balsam poplar, and bigleaf maple … this introduced species is a serious pest (defoliator).”  We wish you had sent a photo of the egg mass.

Daniel,
Thank you so much for responding. Looking at the photos, the bug looks more like the female winter moth, but the egg mass looks just like that of the fall cankerworm moth. I was so freaked out at first, I just wanted to get them out of my house. Then later I found another one. That is when I took the picture. If I find anymore, I will try to get a better picture for you that maybe includes the eggs. (But hopefully, not!) 🙂
Have a blessed day,
Tonya

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: North Carolina

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