Currently viewing the category: "Pantry Moths, Clothes Moths, Case-Bearers and Meal Moths"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi Bugman!
I was going to email you with my pictures of this bug that I have found twice on the walls of my home in Southern California but fortunately found the ‘Case Bearing Moth’ email on your site. Thanks for solving my riddle! Here are my pictures if you’d like them for your database
Jason Roberts

Thanks Jason,
We like the dime for scale.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

mystery bug
Good day Bugman! I have been searching everywhere for someone who has the knowledge to help me out! I am currently living in Taiwan, and have recently moved into a new apartment. My landlord told us that this apartment had been vacant for about 10 months before we moved in. Well, I started seeing these strange spots on the walls, and realized that they moved imerceptibly! Taking a closer look at what I initially thought was cobwebs (because they like to move up and down the wall in the corners where 2 walls meet), I discovered they are in fact alive! When I squish them, they are as thin as paper, and there is no crunch or resistance of any kind. The black protrusion you see coming from the bottom can protrude from the top or the bottom, but not simultaneously. It has no big range of motion, and has a very tentative hold on the surface it is against. This one is on the outside of my toilet bowl. And you’ll notice that this one has an orange coloring, very distinct. Most of the ones I’ve seen have been all brown and mottled, resembling tree bark, without this orange splash. There never was any big population, I found maybe 10 in the whole 3 bedroom apartment when we moved in. Since then, I’ve found maybe a dozen more, and these at long intervals…since this one on the toilet bowl, I haven’t seen another for 2 weeks or so, and so it’s not a question of infestation or management, I just can’t seem to find anyone who can tell me what this is! I hope these pictures and this information reach you alright, and I am eagerly anticipating your response! Thanks again for your excellent site, and I hope to hear from you soon!
Kimberly

Dear Kimberly,
You have Case-Bearing Moth larvae probably Phereoeca fallax or a near relative.
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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.
Help!
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
Hello,
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,
Bistra
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.
(03/24/2008)
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
(03/24/2008)
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
PS

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

moth
Hello,
I live in Northern NJ and certainly never thought I could get moths. My dry cleaner never even saw one in all the years of her business. I noticed a few things flying around in my hallway about 2 weeks ago but thought they were little fruit flies or something. As the days went by I noticed more of these and a few in the house. I am terribly afraid of bugs of any kind so I frantically started cleaning the hallway to find a white with a pale greenish worm on one of my jackets.

I right away suspected moths and took a few of my sweater coats to the dry cleaners. We found two cocoons on the bottom rim of one of the sweaters. Another day has past and I noticed three on one of my suede coats. I thought they only liked wool?! I have 2 long suede coats two that have lambs wool around the collar and cuffs which have the cocoons. Another suede coat with fur and a few other sweater coats all have them.
My landlord went through them all and put them in plastic bags and I am going to take them to the cleaners today. Three jackets are left in the hallway without any visible signs of cocoons but I am sure I should clean them anyway. There was one moth hanging out on my ceiling in the hallway yesterday and now I just spotted one on my wall leading into my kitchen (which may be the one from the hallway?). I took a few pics but under the nervous pressure to get close to it they are blurry. I am attaching it anyway.
I have no idea how they got here because I am obsessively neat and work so much that I rarely have food in the house. I do have a lovebird who eats a pellet diet but has spray millet for treats…this I keep in the refrigerator though. Will they go near him and can he get sick from them if they do? I am so upset over this and how can I get rid of them if I do not know where they started. The coats were not in a closet but hanging on hooks outside my door and I live on the second floor and my landlord doesn’t have them. However, one of my bosses said they had clothes moths a few months ago. Is there any correlation?
What should I do?
Any help with be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!
Lisa Tomsky, MS, RD
Innovative Nutrition Consultants
www.dietaryconsultant.com

Hi Lisa,
Moths are attracted to lights, so if anyone in your vicinity has either clothes moths or pantry moths, they can easily fly into your home and begin to feed if they find a food source. Naturally, a sheepskin lining in a coat is a food source. Animal skins including suede are also viable food sources. One of the best ways to protect your woolens is to take all clothing to the dry cleaners at least once a year, whether or not you wear it.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Can’t quite figure this one out…
Hello Mr. Bugman!
I love your site and you’ve done a great job cataloging and explaining to people what bugs they have been lucky enough to photograph or see. I searched and couldn’t find out about my bug. I suspect that it’s a bagworm but i’m not sure. I live in St. Petersburg, Florida in an older wood framed house. We have lived her for 2.5 years and i’ve never seen this insect until the past few weeks. I’ve seen probably a 8 or so. They are usually >crawling up a wall – inching their way up pulling this sandy very flat sack like thing behind them. In the photos I’ve attached, I placed in on my bathroom sink to get a better shot. He has some lint attached to >him from the baseboard. I didn’t measure this one but another one I just found is about 1/8″ and he was smaller than this one. I would appreciate any feedback if possible.
Thanks so much!
Mo Eppley

Hi Mo Eppley,
You have Case-Bearing Moth larvae. We have additional information on our clothesmoth page. 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 several letters from Florida regarding Case Bearing Moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Egg-sack thing with worm
I live in Sherman Oaks, a suburb of Los Angeles. I’ve been noticing at least one of these egg-sack things appear in and around my house lately, usually attached to a wall a few feet up from the floor. They are medium brown in color, look and feel like small scrap of paper, and are about one centimeter long. Do you know what is hatching out of it? The little worm keeps poking in and out of a hole at both ends of its “home.”
Thank you, – Shel

Hi Shel,
You have Case-Bearing Moth larvae Phereoeca fallax. Here is some information issued by the County of Los Angeles Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures Department: Entomology Laboratory Services: "Case-bearing Moth Larva (Phereoeca fallax) this is a common species in the Los Angeles basin, specially along coastal areas. 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. Thorough vacuuming should help control their numbers. The adult moths are very small and are rarely seen."

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination