Home / Concealer Moths (Oecophoridae) / Brown House Moth (Hofmannophila pseudopretella)

Brown House Moth (Hofmannophila pseudopretella)

Brown house moth of the concealer moth family is the only member of its genus. It is also said to be a close cousin of the Borkhausenia genus moths belonging to the same family. Initially found in Asia, the moth has a wide distribution, spreading throughout Europe, most popular in Britain.

Brown House Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Oecophoridae
  • Genus: Hofmannophila
  • Scientific Name: Hofmannophila pseudopretella

Description and Identification


They have a translucent body with a dull white coloration. Their head is brown, while the legs appear yellowish-brown. The brown house moth’s larva grows to about 1.8 – 2 cm upon maturation. Because of their translucent appearance, the larva changes color according to the food that it has ingested. They inhabit human homes, as evident from their name, and eat many things like clothes, cereals, furniture fabric, dried fruits, etc.

Brown House Moth Larvae



They have a yellowish-brown body, while their abdominal segments remain covered with hooked setae.

Brown House Moth Cocoon


Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Prominent

Males appear smaller than females.

Color and Appearance:

Forewings: When opened, it is brownish-red, marked with patches of blackish brown. The wings also have discal spots and blackish brown, small-sized cellular spots. When closed, the color and pattern remain unchanged though the cellular and discal spots are not prominently visible.

Hindwings: When opened, it is brownish-grey and of the same coloration when closed.

They even have a grayish-brown abdomen, head, and thorax and a thread-like antenna.

Average Wingspan: 1.5 – 2.6 mm

Flight Pattern: Consistent

Season: May – September

Hofmannophila pseudopretella



They are elliptical with a bright white or yellow coloration and longitudinal grooves running parallel joined to transverse lines.

Quick Facts

DistributionNative: Asia Introduced in: Europe (mainly Britain, alongside other continents) in the 1840s
HabitatPrivate houses, and commercial buildings, mostly inhabiting roof spaces, lofts, kitchen cabinets, attics
Lifespan of Adults4 – 5 months
Host PlantsNo host plants
DietLarva: Stored cereals, dried fruits, biscuits, flour, potato, seeds, clothes, fur, furniture fabric, wine bottle cork, leather, bookbinding
Adult: Not recorded

Did You Know

  • Though the larva ingests carpet fibers, it is done rarely, so moth-proofing fibers would not work well to control their numbers.
  • In Britain this moth is considered a serious pest.
Brown House Moth Image


Brown House Moth Picture


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Scientific Classification

  • Family: Oecophoridae
  • Genus: Hofmannophila
  • Scientific Name: Hofmannophila pseudopretella