Subject: Carpet Moth/Beetle
Location: United Kingdom
April 14, 2014 2:16 am
Good Morning, Please see photos of bugs collected from carpet with rice like cocoons?? Can you identify what the bug is and what the rice bits are. There are areas of carpet which have clearly been eaten and we need to identify the problem.
Many thanks
Signature: Ashley Clarke

Case Bearing Clothes Moths and Woodlice

Casemaking Clothes Moths and Woodlice

Hi Ashley,
The “bugs” are Woodlice or Pillbugs, and though they might be a nuisance indoors, they are not eating your carpet.  They are attracted to damp conditions.  The rice like cocoons appear to be the cases of Casemaking Clothes Moths,
Tinea pellionella, a species that will eat wool rugs and clothes and we believe that is the source of the damage.  According to BugGuide, the larvae feed on:  “Feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, upholstered furniture, leather, fish meals, milk powders, lint, dust or paper.”  The larvae, not the adult moths, are responsible for the damage.  It appears that one of the cases in the center of your “collection” is a different species in the same family, a Household Casebearer Moth case, Phereoeca uterella, which according to BugGuide:  “feed on old spider webs; may also eat woolen goods of all kinds if the opportunity arises.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Larval cases can be found on wool rugs and wool carpets, hanging on curtains, or under buildings, hanging from subflooring, joists, sills and foundations; also found on exterior of buildings in shaded places, under farm sheds, under lawn furniture, on stored farm machinery, and on tree trunks.”

Many thanks really helpful

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Location: UK

5 Responses to Casemaking Clothes Moths and Woodlice

  1. Heather Hughes says:

    I’m so glad to see this post. I’ve been suffering from a skin allergy that looks like bites, and chronic throat clearing in the mornings, and when I moved my bed to hoover underneath it I also found woodlice and coccoons. It appears there are known allergies to casemaking moths.
    Weird that I also had the odd woodlice as well, but guessing people aren’t normally allergic to them.
    My carpet is shot to pieces, but I’m more concerned about feeling so ill!

  2. Heidi says:

    What a help, thank you!

    We have loads of woodlice here as well. We moved in to this house back in Nov and there were patches/holes in the carpets in random places. This morning i noticed the ricelike bits on a carpet i hoovered in the last couple of days. I’m guessing we have moths here too, although, i’ve never seen any. Now googling “how to get rid of carpet moths”.

    Thanks for your help.

  3. Erin says:

    The moths also love shed snakeskin.

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