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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

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Scientific Classification


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

Caterpillar

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

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Casemaking Clothes Moth Larvae

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Pupa

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

Case Bearing Clothes Moth Cocoon

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Casemaking Clothes Moth Cocoon

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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

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Egg

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
DistributionWorldwide
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

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Tinea pellionella

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Casemaking Clothes Moth Image

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