Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Please help to ID


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I would really appreciate it if you could help me ID this. I found these on some tape that had fallen underneath my bed, they appear to be white with brown heads, in various sizes, with brown bits surrounding them as well...
Please advise on what they are and if anything needs to be done/if these are serious pests.

Thank you in advance

Dear Greg - Unfortunately, your images are not clear enough fro me to certain of an i.d., but one possibility is that they could be larvae (caterpillars) of the Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). These are general feeders on many grain-derived products as well as dried fruits and nuts, and are common pantry pests. When the larvae complete their development, they usually move quite some distance from their food source, and often may be found crawling on walls and ceilings. Have a look at the images and information at http://tinyurl.com/al355ep, and if after reviewing it you believe that you have something else, please try to take a clearer close-up photo and attach to a follow-up question.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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