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Pest Information

Household Casebearer

Household Casebearer

  • Latin Name: Phereoeca uterella
  • Common Name: Household Casebearer
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Household Casebearer
Household Casebearer
Household Casebearer

Origin:

This species requires high humidity to survive well and is found in South America, leading to suspicion that its origin is also Latin America. In the U.S. it is found along the Gulf States from Florida to Texas and north into Virginia.

Biology:

This moth is closely related to the Plaster Bagworm, which is discussed separately and which is a distinct species. It is often confused with the Casemaking Clothes moth because the larvae of both moths as well as the Plaster Bagworm will create a small silk “case” for itself, camouflaged with debris from its local environment, and drag this case about as it wanders. Females deposit up to 200 eggs, cementing them to surfaces and on debris where larvae may find food. The larva immediately creates its silk case and it is a very active stage, wandering in search of food. A major part of the diet is spider webs and other silk webbing from arthropods, but they also will feed on wool materials when they find them. A complete life cycle from egg to adult moth requires about 2.5 months. A great deal of confusion over the exact scientific name of this species has also led to the confusion of its relationship with other similar moths.

Identification:

The silk case of the larva normally will be the only evidence that this moth is present, although a living larva will be inside. The case is usually dark and covered with bits of sand, soil, insect droppings, and fibers and other debris in the environment. The shape of the case is distinctive, being narrowed to extensions at each end. The larva is a nondescript white larva with a brown head. The adult moth is a grayish brown with 3 or 4 dark patches on the forewings and a tuft or light colored hairs on top of the head.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

It is necessary to find the infested materials in order to eliminate this pest. The larvae will be feeding in a protected place where insecticides will not be likely to contact them, so discovery of the source and disposal or treatment of it are needed. The larvae may also be vacuumed when found wandering in the general environment.

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