The Brown House Moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella) is a species of the concealer moth family and is probably originally native to Asia. However the Brown House Moth has been introduced to other regions by human activity and is found almost worldwide today. It is often considered a pest due to the feeding activity of its caterpillars.
At rest the Adult Brown House Moth is typically 8-14mm and its wingspan is 15–26 mm. Brown House Moth colouring is normally bronze-brown with dark brown and sometimes black flecks on the forewings. The adults fly all year round. The Brown House Moth larvae are about 6mm long, being off-white in colour and with a brown head. The female adult brown house moth can lay up to 600 eggs and the incubation period, dependent on conditions, can vary from 8 to 110 days. The larval stage can extend from 70 to about 150 days and the brown house moth larvae need a reasonably high degree of humidity – if humidity is consistently below 80% they cannot complete their development.
The caterpillars feed on organic detritus that accumulates indoors, e.g. behind skirting boards and other similar places. Typically foodstuffs are cereals (including oatmeal, pearl barley and rice) and other seeds, flour, potatoes, furs and biscuits. The Brown House Moth will also feed off natural clothing and carpet fabrics, in particular wool upholstery, carpets and clothing. The brown house moth is more destructive than the common clothes moth. Its faeces are oblong and larger than those of the common clothes moth.
Pest control measures depend on location – for food preparation and storage areas it is critical to ensure a safe solution is used; either clear the whole area of foodstuffs and dispose of contaminated food prior to using chemical treatments and thereafter use pantry moth traps designed for food areas. See our Food Moth range at MothPrevention.com.