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9413 Views 1 Reply Last post: Sep 6, 2013 7:09 AM by MikeHardman RSS
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Sep 5, 2013 11:18 PM

Moth identification needed please

Hello there, For about 2 months now, we have been finding small larvae in our bathroom. They are cream with reddish-brown heads, and are about 5-10mm in size. Some appear to have small brown/dark 'prongs' on their rear end. Over the last couple of weeks, we have also seen a few moths flying around our house (photo attached - sorry for poor quality). The moths are about 1cm long and appear to be a mottled brown / iridescent bronze / gold. Most of them have a small white section at the head end. When we first noticed the larvae, a few had managed to find their way into our bathroom light (a 'globe' ceiling fitting, which we thought was fitted tight to the ceiling... how they got in there, I don't know...) However, most of them seem to be wriggling around on our bathroom floor, mostly around the edges of the room. I have trawled the internet to try to identify these moths, but there are so many possible matches, so I would really appreciate anyone's thoughts on what these moths could be. We are concerned that they might be clothes moths, but my best guess at the moment is either a brown house moth or a white shouldered moth. I understand that clothes moths do not like the light, so if they are clothes moths, I am confused as to why the larvae would be in our light fitting.


We have become slightly obsessive in bagging up all stored clothes etc, incase these moths decide to munch their way through our possessions! We have bought clothes moths traps, but have only caught one small dark brown moth so far. If we do have white shouldered house moths in our house, could this still be one, but with colour variety? For example, a mature moth? Can the white scales rub off when the moth brushes against surfaces? Are white shouldered house moths still considered to be clothes moths? If not, could the trap (which contains clothes moth pheromones) work on white shouldered house moths too?


We also bought some insecticide strips that allegedly kill moths / larvae etc, and have put them in our bathroom, but we are still finding the larvae. I have been unable to get a picture of the larvae, but the larvae on this link bears the closest resemblance to the larvae we have been finding However, the adult moths we have found are definitely not Indian meal moths.


Any help / information would be SO gratefully received, as I feel like I am losing my mind, having to constantly check for moths and their larvae, and any damage they are causing. We normally embrace all kinds of nature, but we are not very keen on sharing our home with a pest...



Many thanks

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2013 7:09 AM (in response to SquirrelNutkin)
    Re: Moth identification needed please

    Your photo may show two species, but I think you may have correctly identified the lower one as white-shouldered house-moth (Endrosis sarcitrella). There are more photos of the species, showing the larvae and more of the variation of the patterning in the adults here:



    General info -

    The individual in your photo appears to be well-worn, hence appearing paler than most examples above.

    The scales of any moth are prone to rub off.

    However, its larvae spin tiny cases in which they hide - so your larvae may be of a different species.


    The upper specimen in your photo may be Blastobasis lacticolella.

    Its 'larvae will thrive on a wide variety of foodstuffs, including leaf-litter, vegetation, and stored products.'

    However, the size might be wrong, so that is just a guess


    Pheromone traps may or may not be useful; it all depends on the pheromone(s), the number of different species of pest, and the correct ID of the pest species. They will work only on the adults.


    I stongly suggest you get your environmental health officer to visit, make a determination and give advice on how to treat your problem(s). Contact your council.


    Please let us know how you get on.

    I wish you the best of luck in resolving this distressing problem as soon as possible.



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