Hofmannophila pseudospretella, brown house moths, are very common household pests. These creatures are thought to have originated in Asia, but they have been introduced to places around the world via human activity.
The adult moths are a bronzy brown with black spots on the wings and are usually 8-14 mm in length with a wingspan of 15-26 mm. The larvae are slightly smaller and are an off-white color with the same brown-colored head as the adults have.
Brown house moths can be difficult to get rid of simply because of the mass number of eggs the females are capable of laying. In one batch, female moths can lay up to 600 eggs. However, the incubation period can be as long as 150 days (or as short as eight), and when they hatch, they need consistently high humidity to finish their development.
Brown house moth caterpillars cause the most damage due to their eating habits. They feed on organic materials, including food, hair (human and pet), carpet, and clothing. Due to the threat of house moth caterpillars, it is helpful to store food in airtight containers and keep wool or fur clothing items in impenetrable bags, preferably in a cool and dry room.
It is important to note that brown house moths are not directly harmful to people, but they can be bothersome pests. Aside from the damage that they can cause to clothing and other fabrics around the house, these creatures can also ruin food that has not been properly stored. If you do not see the adults flying about, you may be able to recognize the presence of these moths by their droppings in food and around the house.
If you are experiencing pest control issues with moths or any other pest, contact the pest professionals at Palmetto Exterminators.