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Pest Information

Brown House Moth

Brown House Moth

  • Latin Name: Hofmannophila pseudospretella
  • Common Name: Brown House Moth
  • Latin Family Name: Oecophoridae
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Brown House Moth
Brown House Moth


Possibly of European origin, as it is now found nearly worldwide but appears to be most serious as a pest in Great Britain and Europe.


This is a general feeder that may attack a wide variety of structural materials, including stored food products, fabrics of animal hair origin, dried plant materials, book bindings, paper, seeds and grains, corks, and leather or animal skins. It may feed on accumulations of dead insects, and this highly omnivorous behavior of the larvae makes it difficult to isolate an infestation. This is the only species in its genus. It is believed to be native to Asia, but is now found throughout the world including most of North America, transported by human activity in infested foods and other materials. In nature there will usually be a single generation per year, but in warm, humid environments within a structure the life cycle may be completed in as little as 7 months.


This is a difficult moth to identify, as the adult moth is small with brown to bronze-brown wings with several irregular rows of darker, small spots on them in fresh specimens. The moths are about ½ inch long from head to tail, and the fully developed larva may be up to ¾ inch long, white with a tan head. The hind wings of the adults have a fringe of long hairs along the lower edge, and the labial palps on their head are long and curved upward.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

As with all pests of stored foods or fabrics it is necessary to find the source where the larvae are feeding and developing. Once this is discovered and disposed of a thorough cleaning of the area will remove debris and wandering larvae and an application of a residual contact insecticide can be made to intercept others that may be in the area. Adult moths can be killed with a vacuum cleaner or a light mist of pyrethrum.

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