Currently viewing the category: "Pantry Moths, Clothes Moths, Case-Bearers and Meal Moths"
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Ok this one is really gross. I live in Singapore. A couple of days ago, I looked down and saw this flattened rice krispie looking thing on my floor. I looked closer and it was moving. A tiny little brown head looking thing came out and helped it inch along. That head like thing could come out either end. The "casing" whatever it was looked like a whitich rice krispie. I think it was something the thing had excreted. I think it is a worm inside but I am not sure. Maybe it is something in its larva stage. Do you know what this sick looking thing is?
wendi in Singapore

Dear Wendy in Singapore,
There are certain moths that have a caterpillar that spins a cocoon like case that they live in. They can drag the case around. sounds like that is what you saw. The family, called Casebearers, is Coleophoridae.

thank you so much. It is difficult to find pictures but I did find one that is similar of the one that eats Larch. The one here is whiter casing but I think you are correct. I really appreciate your reply.
wendi m

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Hi, Your website is awsome, and answers many questions. Anyway, I thought I would share a termite (I think a termite?) horror story. You may not be able to post it as it is a bit graphic but I think it is a great story and a very important PSA for any woman with termites in her house. Anyway, when I was about 12 or 13 I started using tampons. As any girlcan tell you, when you first start you can’t do it very well. So I was in the bathroom (of our termite infested house) wrestling with this damn thing which I couldn’t (THANKFULLY) get in and finally gave up. Blaming the product, I put it up to my face and popped the cotton part out of the plastic applicator to see if maybe there was something wrong with it. Well,to my horror there were maggots (my biggest fear) writhing all over the cotton, in and out of little holes they had made. I threw it across the room as I assume anyone would and then realized after the shock of maggots in my face, that I had just been trying to shove that thing in myself. After thinking about it I realized that the grubs were most likely not maggots but termite larva, we had just had a “termite night” the day before, where the adult termites fly all over the place and you have to sit around with the lights out. I do not use tampons anymore without first inspecting the cotton part THOROUGHLY. So the moral of this story is to all women, pop the cotton out of the tampon before using to make sure you are not disturbing anyone’s meal.
Jade Shiroma

Dear Jade,
While your story is truly horrific, I don’t believe you had termite larvae eating the cotton of the tampon. Termite young are cared for within the colony. A more likely suspect are certain moths or beetles that eat natural fibers.

That makes so much more sense. Thanks and I will continue to tell everybody about your site. Thanks so much.

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Hi!
Years ago we brought a bug into our house in some paper products. It had three stages – the egg, the moth, and what looks like the cocoon after the moth leaves it. (I’m kinda remembering that there was a worm stage, too?) It infested every area of our house and took drastic measures to get rid of.
The moths seemed to like dark places and this is the stage we are seeing now in our house. I purchased a different brand of toilet paper and found some strange hump-like places in one of the rolls and little pieces of the paper fell out. Our first infestation was in Oregon and we live in Montana now.
I was hoping to see a picture of the moth on your website but did not find it. Is what I am describing possibly called something different? If you can’t answer my questions, do you know of who I could go to for help?
Thank You and Blessed Holidays,
Pat

Hi Pat,
Webbing Clothes Moths (Family Tineidae) can be found wherever organic textiles are stored. They are the moths famous for destroying fine wool sweaters and suits. They will also eat cotton, but prefer wool. It is the caterpillar stage that does the damage.
There is a another moth called the Case-Bearing Clothes Moth, Tinea pellionella, that can be identified by the case it carries. The structure is an elongate flattened sac that is made of silk and is slightly splayed at the open end. The larvae carry this case about with them and eventually pupate within. They are often found is wool and silk, but they could possibly feed off of cotton products.
The Indian Meal Moth, on the other hand, is just one of several Pyralid or Pantry Moths that infest stored food products. The adults resemble small generic moths that can be found on the inside of cupboard doors as well as fluttering aroung lights in the house at night. The larval form is a small white caterpillar that infests the food products. One species, the Meal Moth, Pyralis farinalis, has larvae that build silken tubes or cases that are mixed with food debris. I once had a disgusting box of cornmeal that was totally infested. The Indian Meal Moth lives in the food source within masses of webbing.
Sorry we have no photos since our readers to send them in. Usually a description will suffice in the case of these destructive house pests.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination