The first record of this species came from Lord Walsingham in Busck, However, the specimens that he collected from the Virgin Islands were misidentified. The same year Kea wrote about the food habits of the species present in Florida, using the name given by Walsingham Tineola uterella. After a while, the species in the peninsula was recognized as Tineola walsinghami. In , Hinton and Bradley described the new genus Phereoeca , in order to separate the true Tineola from this and other species of flat case-bearing moths.
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Finally, an early synonym established by Meyrick was recognized as the most appropriate name, and the species was named Phereoeca dubitatrix Meyrick The household casebearer, Phereoeca uterella , requires high humidity to complete its development, a limiting factor for its dispersion throughout the rest of the country.
He also assumed that this species might be present in the coastal areas of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. However, proper identification by a specialist is advised, because case-bearing species other than Phereoeca uterella might be in those states. Another related species of case-bearing moths is Praececodes atomosella tecophora Walker Due to the active international exchange of goods, other case-bearing moths may occur in Florida in the future. After mating, females lay their eggs on crevices and the junction of walls and floors, cementing them on debris.
Two hundred eggs may be oviposited by a single female over a period of a week, after which she dies. Eggs are soft, pale bluish, and about 0. The larva is not usually seen by most people. The case that it carries around wherever it feeds is what is immediately recognized. It can be found under spiderwebs, in bathrooms, bedrooms and garages. Cases can be found on wool rugs and wool carpets, hanging on curtains, or underneath buildings, hanging from subflooring, joists, sills and foundations; on the exterior of buildings in shaded places, under farm sheds, under lawn furniture, on stored farm machinery and on tree trunks.
The larval case is a slender, flat, fusiform or spindle-shaped case which resembles a pumpkin seed. It is silk-lined inside and open at both ends. Most of the biology described here was taken from Aiello's description of Phereoeca allutella , a closely related case-bearing moth species from Panama. Specific information of Phereoeca uterella biology is limited. The case is constructed by the earliest larval stage 1st instar before it hatches, and is enlarged by each successive instar. In constructing the case, the larva secretes silk to build an arch attached at both ends to the substrate.
Very small particles of sand, soil, iron rust, insect droppings, arthropod remains, hairs and other fibers are added on the outside. The inside of the arch is lined exclusively by silk, and is gradually extended to form a tunnel, while the larva stays inside.
The tunnel is closed beneath by the larva to form a tube free from the substrate, and open at both ends. After the first case is completed, the larva starts moving around, pulling its case behind. With each molt, the larva enlarges its case. Later cases are flattened and widest in the middle, allowing the larva to turn around inside.
A fully developed larva has a case 8 to 14 mm long and 3 to 5 mm wide. Case of household casebearer, Phereoeca uterella Walsingham. Both ends of the case are identical, and are used by the larva to hide. When disturbed, it encloses itself in the case by pulling the bottom side up. This closing mechanism is very difficult to open from the outside. The fully developed larva is about 7 mm long.
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It has a dark brown head, and the rest of the body is white, except for the lateral and dorsal plates on the three thoracic segments close to the head, which are hardened and dark. Aiello believes the plates protect the larva from natural enemies when it reaches out of its case for locomotion. The larva has three pair of well-developed, brown legs. The ventral prolegs are white, and are located on abdominal segments 3 to 6 and At the tip of each proleg there is an ellipse formed by 23 to 25 very small crochets a small hook. The anterior crochets are bigger and broader than posterior ones by one third, which is a good detail for identification.
The crochets are used to walk inside the case, and also to grab the case when the larva pulls its head and thorax out and uses its true legs to walk on the floor or walls. Pupation occurs inside the case. The larva walks up a vertical surface and attaches the case at both ends with silk. One end of the case is then modified. The larva cuts a short slit along both edges to make that end flatter, which acts as a valve. Before eclosion the pupa pulls itself halfway through the valve.
The new moth emerges around noon, leaving the pupal case exposed on the outer case. Adult females have a wing span 10 to 13 mm long. They are gray with up to four spots on the fore wings, and a brush of long, lighter gray hair-like scales along the posterior margin of the hind wings.
Males are smaller wing span: Adult female household casebearer, Phereoeca uterella Walsingham. Adult male household casebearer, Phereoeca uterella Walsingham.
Photograph by Juan A. The heads of both sexes are uniformly clothed with dense, rough hairs. There are two pairs of buccal appendages called palps.
They move out of their normal habitat. Scientists suspect they may be trying to get ready for winter. However, millipedes have also been seen migrating after a heavy rain has flooded their habitat. During these migrations, millipedes often find their way into homes. What Do They Eat? They eat dead leaves and decaying wood particles that they find.
Eggs are deposited in the soil; most species reach sexual maturity in the second year and live several years after that. Enter a zip code below to view local branches. Give us a call: I understand my consent is not required to make a purchase. Tap here to give us a call: Common North American species are brownish in color.
Long and slender, millipedes look like worms with legs. They are segmented, with two pair of legs per segment.
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How Did I Get Millipedes? They climb the foundation of the home and they often find entryways such as: Inspection — Millipede treatment usually begins with an inspection by your pest management professional to locate the source how the pests are getting inside the home. Once the inspection is completed, your technician will prepare a plan that may involve both non-chemical and chemical treatment methods.
Prevention — Non-chemical components of the plan will emphasize preventing the pests from getting inside the home and reducing suitable habitats. Some specific actions include sealing around doors, windows, cracks, gaps, and crevices, plus reducing moist places that promote millipede survival. For example, the plan may recommend limiting the amount of mulch, rocks, or debris that are likely to create moist areas favoring large numbers of millipedes.
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