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Pest Information

Whiteshouldered House Moth

Whiteshouldered House Moth

  • Latin Name: Endrosis sarcitrella
  • Common Name: Whiteshouldered House Moth
  • Latin Family Name: Oecophoridae
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Whiteshouldered House Moth
Whiteshouldered House Moth


Possibly a native of Europe since it is more common there, but now found worldwide and throughout much of North America. It appears to be a more severe pest of stored products in some European countries than it is in the United States.


This small moth is found worldwide wherever humans managed to carry it. The larvae feed on a surprisingly diverse number of food choices around structures, including debris in bird nests, dead insects, grain-based food products, animal fibers such as wool, animal droppings, dried fruit, and dry plant materials. The larva creates a small silk tube for itself as it feeds and moves about. The adult moths may come to lights at night. Females deposit up to 200 eggs onto foods for their larvae. Development from egg to adult can be complete in as little as 2 months or it may require 8 months, depending on the conditions where the larvae are developing. They occasionally are problems in wine cellars where the larva bores into the corks of the stored bottles, damaging the wine inside.


Adult moths are about 6 to 10 mm long, and their labial palps are long and curved upward. The forewings are a brown color and the head and front of thorax are bright white, giving it its common name. The hindwings narrow to a point at the outer ends, but do not form the thin projection of the Angoumois Grain Moth, and they have a fringe of long hairs along the lower margin. The larva is white with a brown head, and may be as long as a half inch when fully developed.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Typical of most stored food moth infestations, an inspection must be made to determine which materials are infested, including areas of the structure where foods may not typically be found, such as garages or closets. Disposal of the infested material, followed by a thorough cleaning of the area and possible application of a residual insecticide to intercept any larvae that may have left the food material are needed.

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