Moth Identification

Asked October 22, 2016, 12:27 PM EDT

Good morning! Can you identify this moth and suggest an eradication plan? We thought they may have come into the house with some bird seed. We got rid of the birdseed a week ago but we are still finding them. We've been killing about 4-6 per day. Usually they're resting on the ceiling or high on the wall. They fly clumsily like Snoopy's buddy Woodstock. Thx Mark

Dakota County Minnesota

2 Responses

With magnification, the photo is a bit blurry---so let me describe something and see if it fits. Is the moth 2-toned---gray and coppery brown (see attached pictures)? Is it about 3/8" long. When it lands on the walls---is it 'head up' with its narrow wings swept back over the body like a fighter jet?

If so, this sounds like a common 'stored product pest'---Indian mealmoth, Lepidoptera, Pyralidae, Plodia interpunctella. 'Stored products' could be any 'dry grocery product that you might keep in your kitchen or pantry---or dry pet food or animal feed.'

If you had that suspect bird seed indoors for any period of time---probably longer than a couple of weeks this summer or fall---that could allow the damaging stage, the caterpillar to complete its development, pupate and emerge as those pesky moths in your house. With luck, that's as far as this infestation has gone.

So---kill every moth you see as soon as you see it. Whack with a newspaper or just nab them with a piece of wet paper towel and squish. Make a note when you start this project and see if you don't eliminate the pests---perhaps before Thanksgiving---or sooner.

If you continue to see these moths on the walls or elsewhere indoors, it wasn't just the bird seed that was infested. However, let's try this plan first and see if that doesn't do the job.

....although if you continue to find moth

Thank you Dr, Sutherland. I believe your are correct on identifying the pest.
We have embarked on a massive search and destroy mission. Checking drawers, behind picture frames, clothes, etc. Washed almost all the clothes we own..
It seems we're ahead in the game. We've only seen one moth in the last 8 days,,,