savedave's picture

Insect infestation but what is it?

Observed: 18th February 2011 By: savedave

Does anyone know what this insect is? I think it may be a moth - it is approx 6mm long, light brown in colour, and over the last few days has emerged in my house. It doesnt fly well, and mostly just sits on my white walls in my living room. Every day I get rid of them and the next day they are back. Is it moths? Is it something to worry about? How do you get rid of them?
UPDATE: I have added some better photos and I found what may be the larvae on a curtain - (cotton I think). The larvae was about 5mm long, dark in colourm, with segments like a caterpillar. It was near to two others that were about 3mm long. These are the only larvae I have found. The curtains are now being boil washed.
Do you have any further ideas on this species and best way to deal with them. I have not yet found any damage to any fabric in the house - incidentally I dont have carpets in the living room - wood floor - though there are very old carpets in the hall and stairs and one bedroom (upstairs) that need replacing. (I rent).
thanks loads

Species interactions

No interactions present.


RHoman's picture

Clothes Moths

It certainly looks like one of the clothes moths. Whether you need to worry about them depends on whether you can see any visible damage - holes in jumpers is an obvious one. They are not homing moths, so when you get rid of them, there are probably fresh adults hatching out - they will eventually stop (until the next generation comes through) As you suggest the living room as the location, it might be a Case-bearing Clothes Moth Tinea pellionella - a colony can develop in a quiet spot in a wool carpet. Put "Clothes Moth" into Google and you will be faced will all manner of seemingly dreadful consequences, but perhaps nothing more than a bit of darning and whizz round with the hoover wouldn't sort out.

Robert Homan

RHoman's picture

Two species

You have 2 species here - the moth has already been identified. The larva looks like a "woolly bear" - a larva of one of the Carpet Beetles. These are as much at home in things like bird nests and are not exclusively found in carpets. Again, how bothered you should be depends on your state of mind. Various products are available to deal with these household insects.

Robert Homan

savedave's picture

thanks all and esp Robert. I

thanks all and esp Robert. I am confused though, what are the chances to have developed both these insects simultaniously? Admittedly I have only found a couple of larvae of the beetle.

I had hoped that I had identified the source of the moth infestation as this is the more significant problem it woould seem.

Is it possible that either of these species could be living in a suede or possibly fake suede sofa? It is too heavy for me to lift and look underneath.