Receiving guests, friends, and family into your house may be delightful. But, there is a house visitor who simply doesn’t understand the point and refuses to leave, the Brown House Moth.
Although you may believe that your home is safe from the havoc that moths may cause, there are numerous species of these pests that can sneak into your home without your knowledge. One insect you need to watch out for is the brown house moth.
In this article, we will provide all the relevant information on the brown house moth, how to identify them, and their life cycle, so that you know how to get rid of them!
About the Brown House Moth
Originally from Asia, the Brown House Moth (Hofmannophila Pseudospretella) is a very common house moth. This moth spread to Europe in the 1840s and eventually expanded to the British Isles and to America.
The Brown House Moth is a tiny, inconspicuous insect. You might not even be aware that you have a moth problem until you see a dead one because they love to cling to walls before it becomes dark.
Although you can encounter brown house moths all year round, they are most active in the summer months. Brown House Moths are typically found in residential dwellings in pantries, carpets, and clothing, as well as in attics, cupboards, roofing spaces, and lofts, even though they are classified as pantry moths.
The larvae feed on dried fruits, flour, grains, cereals, seeds, potatoes, clothes, fur, leather, cork, and other similar materials because they’re omnivorous.
Brown House Moth Identification
The color of Hofmannophila Pseudospretella is reddish-brown or brownish-gray with spots of black and brown. There are spots all over the wings that are darker than the main body color. The typical wingspan is between 15 and 26 mm. Larvae of the brown house moth resemble those of other house moth species.
Their heads are brown, while their bodies are a drab, transparent white. It’s interesting to note that these larvae’s coloration varies a little depending on the food they consume. For example, larvae of the Brown House Moth that consume grains will have a different hue from those that eat a red wool sweater.
Because they naturally “fit in” with their environment and take on the color of your favorite cashmere sweater, the larvae may become even more elusive as a result. These larvae typically have a length of 6 mm. To learn more about the different types of moths in our House Moth Identification.
Brown House Moth Life Cycle
It’s important to know the life cycle of these pantry moths in order to prevent a moth infestation. The lifespan of an adult Brown House Moth is 4-5 months. The female House Moth can produce up to 600 eggs throughout that time. Incubation can last between 8 and 110 days, depending on factors including temperature and humidity. The amount of time between now and when the eggs hatch is enormous.
The Brown House Moth larvae start consuming anything nearby as soon as the eggs hatch because they are ravenous. Depending on what is nearby, the larvae gorge themselves on their favorite food source of cereals, dried fruit, grains, fur, leather, and other natural fibers for the following 70 to 150 days.
Larvae of the Brown House Moth require a high level of humidity—around 80%—in order to pupate. Otherwise, they won’t keep growing as they should. Visit our Moth Life Cycle & Pantry Moth Life Cycle guides to learn more!
How to Get Rid of Brown House Moths
Learning how to get rid of Brown House Moths from your home is crucial since they can do more damage than other types of House Moths. To draw mature adult males, employ clothes moth traps, a specifically made pheromone moth trap. When the male adult moths are removed from your home, the female moths’ eggs won’t hatch, halting the moth’s life cycle.
While moth traps by themselves won’t completely solve your home’s moth problem, they’re quite helpful for keeping track of how bad the infestation is. Furthermore, the location of the infestation in your home will determine the best course of action for Brown House moth management.
Before utilizing a moth killer kit, for instance, if the infestation is in the pantry, you’ll need to clean the area. Decontamination involves scrubbing surfaces with a vinegar solution and thoroughly washing garments and any contaminated food. Vacuuming the damaged areas is a good idea as well to get rid of any larvae excrement.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why do I have brown moths in my house?
The brown house moth is the most common of all house moths. Most moths can be seen all year round, however, the summer is when they are most active. You likely have them due to their larvae finding a nest inside your pantry somewhere, as they consume dried fruits, flour, grains, cereals, seeds, potatoes, clothes, fur, leather, cork, and other similar materials.
Are brown house moths poisonous?
Moths are neither poisonous nor hazardous, thus they don’t endanger human health or safety. Because moths can’t bite, especially as adults, they pose even less of a threat to people. Although a few species are known to sting, their venom does not appear to be dangerous to humans and only causes minor skin irritations in some cases.
Are house moths harmful?
Adult Brown House Moths do not pose a threat to humans. Since they lack mouths, they are unable to bite or consume food. Wool and fur textiles, as well as food products, are destroyed and contaminated by Brown House Moth larvae.