House infested with both brown-dotted clothes moths and Indian meal moths


An Arnold, Ca resident called us about a moth problem. They’d set out a couple of moth traps, one for clothes moths, and one for pantry pests. Michael Storey picked up their traps and brought them to the office for id.

The traps had caught a number of moths, comprising two different species: Indian meal moths and brown-spotted clothes moths. Note that both traps caught both species.

This was the first time I’d even seen the brown-spotted clothes moth.

Niditinea fuscella, the brown-spotted clothes moth, is often called the European house moth.

According to this link, the “Larvae feed on dry animal and plant remains and are often found in bird nests feeding on shed feathers and feces. Also found in grains and stored products.”

From this flier, we get: “The larvae prefer to eat bird feces and dried feathers, so dried bird skins and bird taxidermy mounts are of particular concern, especially if stored in an attic space. They have been known to eat wool, dried peas and dried fruit, bran, rose petals, and even pigskin
bookbindings. They have also been known to frequently infest poultry houses.”

These moths can be pests in museum collections.

We are just starting to examine the details of this infestation.