Currently viewing the category: "Clothes Moth and Meal Moth Caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Debris wearing Caterpillar?
Geographic location of the bug:  Marysville,  WA
Date: 11/02/2017
Time: 02:06 AM EDT
My daughter found this on her pillow. Can you please identify and let us know if we should be worried about infestation or hazards.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you, Ronda Henderson

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Ronda,
This is a Case Bearing Moth Larva, and they are frequently found in homes where they feed on pet hair and other organic materials.  They can be a nuisance if they are plentiful.  We have a funny image in our archives of a large group of Case Bearing Moth Larvae feeding on pet food.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Odd creepy crawly
Location: Southeast Florida
February 23, 2017 5:09 am
Ive recently found a bunch of these hanging around, a hard casing with what seems to be a little black worm inside along with silverfish. The worm will stick its head out and move itself around surprisingly fast as well. Its starting spring and its been raining quite a lot here in southeast Florida. They also seem to be more active at night but that may be because I’m not around much of the day. Thanks.
Signature: Alli

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Alli,
This is a Case Bearing Moth Larva, a common household pest that will feed on many types of organic matter in the home, including pet hair.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: KauAi
December 30, 2016 10:26 am
Found in my home on Kauai. It’s pretty small…a little bigger than a cantaloupe seed.. I’ve seen a few individual ones at different times…. should I be concerned?
Signature: Mahalo, Shannon

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Shannon,
This is the larva of a Case Bearing Moth, a species found in proximity to humans throughout the world.  Though we do consider them to be household pests, they do not do significant damage.  They will eat shed pet hair and other organic detritus found in the home, and we have posted images of them getting into pet food.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: catfood insects
Location: North central Florida
March 27, 2016 5:52 am
Hi, lately I’ve noticed some kind of insect or something around the catfood bowl. They arrange around a solitary piece of catfood in a flower petal fashion. At first I thought some type of silverfish, but these don’t have any noticeable antennae or feet. I thought they must move extremely slowly, but recently I noticed some move. They appear to gather around a piece of wayward dry catfood for days. When I first saw them, they were completely around a piece of catfood and it looked like (from a distance) a plastic flower or something, so I picked one of them up. They almost cotton-like to the touch. Any ideas?
Signature: //Dan

Case Bearing Moth Larvae eating cat food.

Case Bearing Moth Larvae eating cat food.

Dear Dan,
We are amazed that the organized manner in which these Case Bearing Moth larvae are eating cat food.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, CA
January 31, 2016 12:39 pm
I have found a few of these in my home.
What are they.
Signature: Dave Douthett

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Dave,
This is a Household Casebearer,
Phereoeca uterella, a common household pest.  According to BugGuide:  “The larval case is silk-lined inside and open at both ends. The case is constructed by the earliest larval stage (1st instar) before it hatches, and is enlarged by each successive instar. In constructing the case, the larva secretes silk to build an arch attached at both ends to the substrate. Very small particles of sand, soil, iron rust, insect droppings, arthropod remains, hairs and other fibers are added on the outside. The inside of the arch is lined exclusively by silk, and is gradually extended to form a tunnel, while the larva stays inside. The tunnel is closed beneath by the larva to form a tube free from the substrate, and open at both ends. After the first case is completed, the larva starts moving around, pulling its case behind. With each molt, the larva enlarges its case. Later cases are flattened and widest in the middle, allowing the larva to turn around inside.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wierd bug
Location: Minnesota
November 16, 2015 10:57 am
Looked like a crumpled up tissue then it moved and a head came out like a turtle in a shell
Signature: Na

Case Making Clothes Moth Larva

Case Making Clothes Moth Larva

Dear Na,
This looks like a Case Making Clothes Moth Larva to us, and though you did not indicate if it was found among wool or silk clothes, the image on fabric supports that it may have been found in a closet.  See BugGuide for more images and information including that they:  “Feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, upholstered furniture, leather, fish meals, milk powders, lint, dust or paper. Often infesting carpets, especially in damp areas.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination