Help me ID these small, annoying moths

Asked March 18, 2019, 6:33 PM EDT

Hi — I live up in Vail Valley and since we’ve moved into our house in 2016, we’ve had these moths. Usually they get bad at the end of summer/fall but they’ve been also making an appearance this winter. They are small & almost disintegrate when you kill them. I‘ve seen over a hundred of them already this year. I’ve checked my pantry a number of times but see nothing amiss and they are everywhere in the house. If you can identify them, please let me know how to get rid of them too. Thanks!

Eagle County Colorado moths

5 Responses

Thank you for using the Ask an Expert service.

I am working on identifying these moths for you, but was hoping you could answer a couple of questions for me first:
1. Where in your home do you see most of them (are they congregating in the kitchen, the bedroom, or elsewhere)?
2. Do you notice them coming from a certain location? And if so where?

Thanks in advance,
Abi

Hi - Unfortunately I don’t notice them coming from a specific location. I’ve never seen them coming from the food cabinets. I’ve seen them in every room in the house but I would say I see more in our lower level (kitchen is on upper level). We are built into the side of a hill so it’s cooler there. My neighbor has them as well and seems to think it’s something to do with the construction (we had the same builder) but I don’t know about that. There are unfinished areas in the lower level where the mechanicals are. They do like light - they hang out on the walls by nightlights.

Good afternoon,

There are two main categories of household moth pests:
1) Pantry Moths
They infest: food, grains, rice, and even pet food
Where to check: pantry, cupboards, cellar, food storage containers, etc.
What to look for: caterpillars in the food, some webbing around grains/pet food, moths and debris
2) Clothes Moths
They infest: clothes, leathers, fur, wool, and natural fibers
Where to check: attics, closets, storage boxes with clothes
What to look for: holes in clothes, moth debris around the clothing items

It is important to find the source of infestation in order to eliminate the pests and control them/prevent these in the future.

Here are some fact sheets that give more information about moth pests and how to find them/control and prevent them:
Moths in the Home:
https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/moths-in-the-home-5-572/
Clothes Moths:
https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef609

Thanks,



I have checked repeatedly both for signs of pantry and cloths moths but can find nothing. I was hoping you could help identify the moth by the picture. I guess not.

Small moths can be a challenge to identify with photographs- without the specimen in hand, but I have sent the pictures to our state Entomology specialist for identification and I am awaiting a reply. In the meantime I wanted to make sure I passed along our moth-related resources.

As soon as I hear back with a confirmation on the ID, I will get back to you.

I apologize for any inconvenience.

Thanks,