Entomology (Study of Bugs)/what insect is this?

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Question
insect
insect  

insect image
insect image  
t is about 5mm in length.ovoid shape shield/shell.sometimes the worm head will appear out of its shield like how a tortoise does and when you are nearby it,it hides itself within the shield again.the shell is usually greyish white,sometimes darker in colour.dusts sometimes got stick onto its shell.at times you can see it hanging from the wall or ceiling.it moves on the tiles and floor too.usually seen moving around at night.please help.

Answer
Dear Carmen,

Thank you for the question and the photographs. It is a caterpillar of a moth, most probably in the family Tineidae. They create a bag-like structure around them for protection, it is mainly made from fibres and other debris around our homes. They mostly eat organic debri in our homes, and are associated with bird nests, especially that of pigeons, in or around homes.

The adult moths barely measure around 1 cm, are brown in colour, and are seen around house. This species is harmless in small numbers, but may damage clothes if they come in large numbers. Easy way to keep them away is to keep the bird nest sites clean or by manually removing them - they do not bite.

I hope this helps,
Aniruddha

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Aniruddha Dhamorikar

Expertise

I will answer general identification questions about insects and spiders ONLY from India. I cannot guarantee specific identification (of species), but I will try my best! If I do not have the answer, I will get back to you on the right answer as soon as possible.

Experience

I have been studying fauna of Indian for several years, as a hobby as well as academically.

Education/Credentials
B.Sc. Zoology M.Sc. Environmental Science M.E.S.

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