I live in Austin, TX, USA.

Just looked under a wooden table in my dining room (shares wall with outside of house) and saw this little tubes hanging underneath. A few still had live worm-like guys protruding.

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I'm guessing some kind of larvae. There were little granules of something on the bottom of the table.

The majority of them are near the floor in the corner where the wood end table was. Though I do see four or five hanging from the ceiling in that area.

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It's hard to tell from the pictures, but each of the tubes is maybe 1/4" long.

Any thoughts on what these might be, specifically if they look like anything that destroys wood?


Just had a pest control inspector come out. He says the tubes are moth larvae, as suggested below (good call).

The saw dust is likely from carpenter ants. He says they seem to be localized to the end table so I should probably get rid of it, which is what I'm going to do.

I'll monitor the area for more signs up damage from the ants, but so far it looks okay.


3 Answers 3


Those aren't termite tubes. I am pretty sure they are moth larva cases. Here's another example of one. There's lots more kinds if you do an image search.

enter image description here

We had them on the outside of my home in CT growing up. That was aluminum siding so they weren't eating it.

  • @d512 And I see you share my taste in profile photos :) Sep 11, 2018 at 23:20
  • Interesting, they do look similar to clothes moth larvae though I have no wool or clothing in that area so I'm not sure what they're eating.
    – d512
    Sep 12, 2018 at 2:48
  • Ha! Nice, same image even! Classic...
    – d512
    Sep 12, 2018 at 2:49
  • Doesn't matter what one is guessing, this guy has as a problem. A home from the 60's is bound to have dry rot and moisture problems. That needs to be addressed first. There is an awful lot of chewed up wood and the only insect I know that does this are termites. Certainly there are other possibilities. D512 needs to find out the state of his home and foundation, first. The structure of this stick built home is at stake.. The value of the home.
    – stormy
    Sep 12, 2018 at 6:41
  • 1
    Termites don't create chrysalises as far as I know. Those are not the typical tubes for termites. Be cautious conflating the "wood granules" with the chrysalises. It's likely they are completely unrelated. There are many insects that bore or eat wood. None that create chrysalises as far as I can tell. You may get some assistance from a local college identifying what is creating the chrysalises. You may have other insects in play, so a professional inspection is probably a good idea. Good luck!
    – Tim Nevins
    Sep 12, 2018 at 16:12

Better ventilation could help with this, as I have worsening humidity issues at present and inherently see more of these moth cases hanging down from the ceiling over the years. Dehumidifiers are great in the short term, in the long term better positive / negative pressure ventilation in the home helps.


Clothes Moth with tube carrying larvae

Please give us more information such as where you live and what we are looking at in your pictures. Gosh, this looks like termites, the white dudes are larva and that sawdust is sawdust that has been chewed up by the larva. Ugh. This is when an expert should be called and pesticides used. Try to not have ALL insects killed if possible. Need to find out the attraction to the wood of your home, first. Not all homes are attacked by termites.

I would call a few companies out to give you their ideas and bid. I would also call a private home inspector. There is a reason for termite infestation that needs to be addressed. You need someone familiar with dry rot as well as termite infestation and a professional, private, licensed home inspector is the best and first way to spend money on this problem that is rapidly reducing your investment. They are amazingly affordable to any and all home owners...worth every cent.

How long have you lived in this home? Did you have it built? How old is this home and when was the last time a remodel has been done? There is the chance this problem was in effect when you first purchased this home and without discovery you do have a bit of power here. This could be mitigated with responsible parties footing the bill...not you. I am also thinking that you learning exactly what is happening, you will be able to 'vet' these pest contractors. Make sure they show you their licensing for pest control! Bonded as well. This protects your home owner's insurance.

Update: Clothes moths? I think this is more on target than termites with this crysallis thingy. I learn something new every dang day.
wood boring insects that damage taxidermy

  • 1
    Okay, thanks for the info. I will call someone in. This house was built in the 60s and we have lived here for about 8 years. No issues until now. A few years ago we had our foundation repaired which caused some new cracks to open up. There is one near the area where all the bugs are. And the other side of the wall is the outside so I'm guessing that's how their getting in.
    – d512
    Sep 12, 2018 at 2:53
  • They get in via rotting and weakened wood. Again, in Washington State there is a 12 year warranty. There are things called 'disclosure' the real estate agency is liable for things such as dry rot, insect damage, bad bad weeds that have to be declared to the buyer before purchase. A 60's home is usually well built but all homes need refurbishing to mitigate age. One doesn't sell a home with termites or dry rot and a number of basic bad things a new owner should not have to deal with unknowingly. Tell me more about the foundation 'repair'. That caused 'cracks'? I'd love to help!
    – stormy
    Sep 12, 2018 at 6:33
  • Is this a Sears Craftsman Home?
    – stormy
    Sep 13, 2018 at 2:12

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