What kind of moth is this?

Asked September 24, 2018, 4:13 PM EDT

I have these in my unfinished basement, and a closet upstairs! They look like meal moths from pictures I've seen in attempts to i.d. them. As far as I know, there isn't any food (grains, cereals, pastas) in the locations I've trapped them. In a month's time, I have approximately 50 in one trap at the top of basement steps and 25 in the basement . I removed items (neoprene waders and other synthetic stuff) where I first discovered them and vacuumed the area. The trap in the closet has captured 10 in a week. It seems that after the first two weeks, I'm catching 1-2/day. I see an occasional single moth flying in those areas. What constitutes an infestation (what I have?)? Why/how am I finding them where I am? And are they cloth eaters? Paper eaters? Best idea for eradication or finding source? (Note: can you forward to an interior pest authority if this is not the correct forum for my question?)

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

In spite of my greatly enlarging your picture, there is still a lack of clarity and detail. Consequently I cannot make an identification. Possibly it might be a meal moth but usually they are attracted to food. Meal moths are closely related to what are called pantry moths so that is also a possibility. Regardless of whether it is a pantry, a meal moth, o something related to them, their life cycle can be as short as 30 days from egg to adult. Adults lay eggs on a food source and this is what the larvae eat. If there is no food source, then no eggs, and then no more moths I suspect that perhaps you had been trapping the adults. If all food has been covered so that no eggs could have been laid, then perhaps you have seen the last of them. However, once again, I am only speculating on this since I am unable to make a positive ID of the moth. If you are able to take additional pictures,please send them onto us.

Thanks and good luck!