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Casemaking Clothes Moth (Tinea pellionella)

The casemaking or case-bearing clothes moth is a member of the fungus moth family. It has a cosmopolitan distribution and is often referred to as a bagworm because of the bags that the larva carry themselves around in. It is a common pest to upholstery, woolen fabric, fur, and carpet, as evident from its name.

Casemaking Clothes Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Tineidae
  • Genus: Tinea
  • Scientific Name: Tinea pellionella


The larvae are creamy-white, 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) long. They enclose themselves in an open-ended silk case to move about. Their food sources consist of animal-derived clothing materials like wool, leather, silk, fur, and feathers.

Case Bearing Clothes Moth Caterpillars


Casemaking Clothes Moth Larvae



The pupa formation varies with temperature, taking place quicker at higher temperatures. The cocoons look like tiny rice grains.

Case Bearing Clothes Moth Cocoon


Casemaking Clothes Moth Cocoon


Adult Moth

exual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent

Color and Appearance

The color ranges from silvery gray to a shiny light brown. There are dark grayish hairs on its head. Forewing: They are grizzled brown with a single large spot and fewer black spots, smaller in size, and paler in color.

Hindwing:  The wings are plain and pale brown-gray, surrounded by hairy fringes.

Average wingspan: 9-16 mm

Season: June- October

Case Bearing Clothes Moth



Females lay the eggs in small clusters, which hatch in 4-10 days. The number depends on how high the temperature is.

Quick Facts

Other NamesCase-bearing clothes moth
HabitatDark, moist areas in households
PredatorsNot recorded
Lifespan of Adults2 months
Host PlantsThe larvae do not feed on plants
Adult DietDo not feed

Did You Know

  • As they prefer higher temperatures, well-heated buildings are more likely to get infested by them.
  • Though similar in size and appearance, mainly infesting fabrics, the casemaking and webbing clothes moth vary in color. The former has a brownish appearance with dark wings, while the latter has a golden-tan body and wings.
Casemaking Clothes Moth Picture


Casemaking Clothes Moth Image


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