The white shouldered house moth is a common species that belongs to the same sub-species as the brown house moth. The white shouldered house moth is now found worldwide due to its close association with human environments which creates plentiful food sources.
Unlike the webbing clothes moth and carpet moth, the white shouldered house moth is attracted to light and due to its constant all-year round breeding cycle can be found in houses, outbuildings and factory environments where dried food sources such as grain maybe found. However, it is omnivorous, eating foodstuffs such as grain, bran, flour and other cereals, but also feeding on wool and other animal based fabrics. Bird nests are a particularly ideal environment and, if any are located nearby, a risk for them entering the house.
Consequently, the white shouldered house moth as a pest is a risk to stored food in the same way as the pantry moth species, as well as to clothing and carpets, particularly when humidity levels are high.
The larvae are similar to other house moths, being a creamy white small caterpillar, and in the same way as the case-bearing clothes moth and carpet moth, they spin small cases in which they ‘hide’. The adult female white shouldered house moth, when mated, lays up to 200 eggs near to a suitable food source for the larvae that hatch within 1 to 2 weeks and start feeding immediately, feeding at night and hiding in the day. The adults live a shorter life than other similar moths, typically less than 3 weeks.
White shouldered house moths should be dealt with in a similar way to other house moth varieties: