Found 10 or so of these things on our ceiling this morning. I live in Central Oregon. Not sure what they are--is this an indication of worse things to come? Anything I need to inspect my house for, or shall I just throw them out?

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  • At a glance, they look like maggots. (perhaps they could be moth larvae). Maybe something died in the house recently. It's typical of rotting flesh or fibrous material. Is there any noticeable odor in the vicinity of where you are finding them? If you can inspect the area for a dead carcass or water damage and you find neither, then just keep your eyes out. Otherwise, you found your source.
    – noybman
    Oct 8, 2017 at 15:52
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    Roger that. As I am doing more research, you are helping me lean towards moth larvae. We found an area in our pantry that had a fair amount of them hanging out. May be rid of them :)
    – Jeff.Clark
    Oct 8, 2017 at 15:56
  • those things only live a day or two in that form, and they need moisture to arrive at that form, so they won't be far from where they were hatched, and they are never single children...
    – dandavis
    Oct 8, 2017 at 20:29
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    Do a science experiment. Many insects look similar at this stage. Collect some and put them in a jar with a source of humidity (a piece of slightly damp paper towel), and some air holes. When they turn into their adult form, you'll know what insect you're dealing with. Then you'll have a clearer picture of why they're there and how to get rid of them and keep them out.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 8, 2017 at 21:58
  • Did you take the sample to a professional for evaluation? The community is bright and well-intended, however, if the advice is wrong can you afford this?
    – gatorback
    Nov 3, 2017 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


That looks like the larvae stage of a pantry moth to me. Is it in or near your kitchen or some food storage? They can infest food like grain that is sitting in cabinets and you end up with many of them flying around your kitchen.

I think there are homemade traps you can make to keep their populations down in your kitchen. The real key is to identify what they're eating and address it - clean it up or get rid of it and try to make sure other foods nearby are well sealed so the moths can't move and expand.

Worlwide I think it is somewhat common to have these critters in bulk grain storage like a container of rice. You can try to remove them and rinse the food if you want to still use it and that'll probably be okay, but you should watch out for too many of them or other problems with the food like mold or excessive bug waste.

  • Concur. You need to go though your pantry, the sooner the better. And figure out what they're in and clean or dispose. Check everything else for seal. Google "Indian Meal Moth" and the link above is good.
    – DaveM
    Oct 9, 2017 at 0:20
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    Check flour, corn meal, Bisquick etc for meal-worms and flour beetles. If you've got them, toss everything, and keep replacements in hermetically sealed (airtight, usually plastic) containers. That'll keep the problem from coming back if you buy some flour that happens to be contaminated. Oct 9, 2017 at 1:04

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