Currently viewing the category: "Pantry Moths, Clothes Moths, Case-Bearers and Meal Moths"
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Subject: A new invasive insect on top of the stink bugs we already have…
Location: 20735-1870 [Ed. Note:  Maryland]
January 23, 2013 9:34 am
Hello!
This past month as the temperatures are dipping below freezing here in Southern Maryland, I noticed that we have gotten another insect that is invading my home on top of the stink bugs that we already have. I want to say its a moth, but I can’t be for certain. They fly pretty slowly and aren’t hard to catch with a sweater either! They hang out on the walls and notice them in my room often, which faces east. Can you identify it and tell me if I need to stock up on my mothballs? Thanks!
Signature: Bonnie

Indian Meal Moth

Hi Bonnie,
This is an Indian Meal Moth,
Plodia interpunctella, a common household pest.  Adults are just an annoyance and they will not harm your clothes.  The caterpillars feed on stored grain products.  We would urge you to clean out the pantry.  Pay special attention to an old box of cornmeal or pancake mix that is in the back of the cupboard.  Fumigation won’t do much good since you need to get at the food source to eliminate the problem.

Thanks!!! What a fast reply too! I’ve cleaned the cabinets of these old boxes of cereal, so that should help!
Best Regards,
Bonnie

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird bug in oblong casing??
Location: Southern California
October 13, 2012 1:24 am
I found this in my bathroom the other day. I looks to me like a larvae in some kind of sack/cocoon/casing thing. The casing is an oblong shape with two entry/exit holes on opposite sides. The bug inside comes halfway out occasionally, but never completely out. It moves very slowly and pulls the casing along with it, like a hermit crab. The bug itself looks like a tiny caterpillar, like it has many small legs. It appears to be wither white or a very pale yellow with black stripes. The casing is no more than half an inch long.
Thank you so much for your help!
Signature: Derussa

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Hi Derussa,
This is a Case Bearing Moth Larva,
Phereoeca uterella.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on old spider webs; may also eat woolen goods of all kinds if the opportunity arises.”  BugGuide also notes:  “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.”  We suppose they can be considered Household Pests, especially based on this amazing photo from our archive.

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what is this ??
Location: SE. Florida, Ft.Pierce
January 25, 2012 10:44 am
Dear Bugman, I found this flat bug in my bathroom, in S.E. FL. in January,
It is about the size and shape of a watermelon seed, speckled grey and black, it has a long thin head that appears to poke out and pull itself along. I have attached two photo’s
thanks for yur help.
Ray
Signature: Ray in FLA

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Ray,
This is such a wonderfully detailed image of a Case Bearing Moth Larva.  While they might be considered as Household Pests that could damage organic fibers like wool, they are most likely benign and feeding off shed pet hair, human hair and other organic debris like food crumbs in the home.  The case is made of silk and incorporated particulate matter.

WOW, That was a fast response, Thank you for clearing that up. we called it a flounder bug., left it alone last night as we went to bed, When we woke up she was gone..
thanks again, great service you have.
Have a great day.
Ray

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

household bug
Location: ireland, dublin – ceiling and under beds
November 30, 2011 3:42 pm
dear mr. bugman
for many years now i have had these white small 1cm size chrysalis hanging from my ceiling and now i have uncovered them under the beds, along with oodles of small black piles…? they seem to like leather and clothing under the beds but i have never seen them produce anything like a moth or worm? can you advise
I do not think them any harm but wonder if they contribute to my asthma and allergies, dust mites etc
Signature: debbie m

Case Bearing Moth Larvae

Dear Debbie,
These are Case Bearing Moth Larvae, a common creature found in homes worldwide.  While we do not believe they contribute directly to your asthma, they often feed on organic debris like shed hair from pets as well as people.  The accumulation of debris under beds and various other places might be contributing to your asthma, and the Case Bearing Moth Larvae are just symptoms of a pre-existing dust problem in your home.

Case Bearing Moth Larvae

Really interesting! Do you mean the moth lives inside the casing and moves about in it? As I have never seen any moths in the house or anything emerge from them? Are they living and moving about in the white case
Kind regards
Debbie Millington

Hi again Debbie,
The case is spun by the larva and occasionally incorporates sand and debris in its construction.  The larva lives in the case.  Eventually the larva will pupate in the case.  Perhaps they have never had a chance to emerge as tiny adult moths because you have discovered them and cleaned them away.  It is possible that Case Bearing Moth Larvae my eat organic fibers and protein, hence being considered Household Pests.

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We think it’s a moth
Location: Ottawa, ON
December 7, 2011 11:13 pm
We’ve had a bunch of these in the house recently. They seem to be a moth of some kind, but they’re not in clothes or carpets or food. We’d like to know what it is, and what we can do to help get rid of them.
Signature: Bret and Meg

Indian Meal Moth

Dear Bret and Meg,
This is an Indian Meal Moth, a common moth that infests stored food in the pantry including corn meal and oatmeal as well as pet foods and bird seed.  You should inspect the pantry and remove any infested grain products.

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New uninvited guests
Location: Maryland
October 1, 2011 5:46 pm
Hi,
I am trying ti ID these characters.
Don’t know if their related or not.
Finding the grub/larvae mostly on ceiling, and on walls. Has a ”silk” thread. Also, Have seen a fly? with silver/grey/tan on wings both appeared around same time.See third photo. About 7mm-1cm in length. When crushed(sorry)insides leave a very pronounced black stain.
May have come in with some birdseed, though not sure.These insects appear daily, even after thorough removal of all visible specimens. Could really use your help. Thanks
Signature: Eric, The Bugged.

Caterpillar of the Indian Meal Moth

Hi Eric,
The moth in your photo is an Indian Meal Moth,
Plodia interpunctella, a species that infests stored grain products as well as bird seed.  The caterpillar also looks very much like the Indian Meal Moth Caterpillar images posted to BugGuide, and since the appearance of both the moth and caterpillar happened at the same time, it is a fair assumption that they are related.  You might want to remove the bird seed and we would also recommend cleaning out the pantry to make sure they haven’t infested the oatmeal, nuts or cornmeal you might have stored on the shelf. 

Indian Meal Moth

Hi Friends,
Think I have found answer to my dilemma:
Indian Meal Moths!!! But if you have the time please confirm this.
Thanks again for your time, Eric

Hi again Eric,
We did not notice that you had already self identified your Indian Meal Moths prior to our creating this post.

Hello,
Let me first say thank you for your fast reply. I did manage to ferret
out the ID of these. But one thing is for sure I have found another interesting site to visit and
find it to be not only a valuable resource, but rather entertaining.
Best Regards, and Thank You again,
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination