Case Bearing Moth Larva Found On Wall

A reader wrote to us freaked out by a teeny-tiny visitor she found in her house. First, she saw a strange thing on her wall, near the ceiling. It looked like a bit of fluff or debris, but then it moved. She took a picture for us:

UPDATE! All About Worms has partnered with HealthLabs so that
you can get tested for parasites at a fully-qualified lab near you,
no doctor's visit required
! Check it out at HealthLabs.com!

Not knowing what this was, she was concerned and sprayed it with wasp spray. At that point, a small larva crawled out of the object on the wall.

She is very concerned, and would like to know what this is.

No Paywall Here!
All About Worms is and always has been a free resource. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or make you give us your email address, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to pay our research authors, and to run and maintain the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep All About Worms free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did we provide for you today?:

We have good news and bad news. The good news is that this is a case bearing clothes moth larva. These are completely harmless to her and any pets or children in the house.

The bad news is that, by spraying it with wasp spray, she has likely ruined this creature’s home.

Case bearing moths get their name because their larvae create cases to live inside while they’re getting ready to pupate. These cases help protect their very soft, very fragile, bodies from getting squished or eaten. They build these little cases out of their own silk and whatever debris or bits of stuff happen to be handy. These cases are not part of their bodies, and the larvae are not attached to them. They simply live inside them, and come out to find food. The larvae can poke out on either side of the case. They can also pick up their cases and move them, so if they need to go to a location with more food they can do that. As our reader discovered, they can also leave their cases should that become necessary.

We hope that the larva that was displaced could either use its old case once it dried out, or build a new case. However, it is likely that the loss of the little guy’s case resulted in its death. This is too bad for the larva, but may save some of our reader’s clothes.

Case bearing clothes moth larvae love to eat the natural fibers in our clothes and other soft-goods. As always, the best way to discourage these guys is to remove their food source. It is a good idea to invest in some airtight storage bags or boxes for any important wool or cotton clothing. She should also make a point of eliminating any abandoned spider webs. They are one of these larvae’s favorite foods. If they can’t find food, they’ll leave on their own accord, and take their cases with them.

Summary
Case Bearing Moth Larva Found On Wall
Article Name
Case Bearing Moth Larva Found On Wall
Description
A reader wrote to us freaked out by a teeny-tiny visitor she found in her house. First, she saw a strange thing on her wall, near the ceiling. It looked like a bit of fluff or debris, but then it moved. She took a picture for us:
Author

1 Comment

  1. Orion Joynes

    Poor little larva! :(

Leave a Comment (but to submit a question please use the "Submit a Question" link above; we can't respond to questions posted as a comment)

Menu / Search

All About Worms