Question: We have these small little moth like bugs in out basement apartment. They are really stupid an let you kill them. They are no bigger than a child’s pinkie nail. When you kill them, they turn to dust. There is never blood. They appear about once a day on a wall or something. We’ve put moth balls out but are going crazy because of the smell. Could they be drain flies? We haven’t seen our clothing wrecked or anything.

Answer: Drain flies are commonly referred to as moth flies because their body and wings are full of hairs which give them a fuzzy appearance. They are 1/16-1/4″ in size. The fact that you said they turn to dust leads me to believe you may have an indianmeal moth infestation. When these moths are crushed the scales on their wings will come off and leave a residue. They are 5/8-3/4″ in size. Their wings are cream colored with a darker color toward the end of the wings. If they fit the description of the indianmeal moth, you need to locate the source of the infestation. The source will be the food the moths are feeding on. Simply by removing the food source you will correct the problem in time. Items that are potential food sources should then be place in glass or plastic containers to avoid future infestations. When in the larva stage these insects will infest any type of grain food or nuts. This includes flour, cereals, dried pasta, dried fruits, seeds, chocolate, dried dog food, dried flower arrangements, grapevine arrangements, etc. The moth can continue to be seen for months after the source of the infestation has been removed. The only way to keep the moths away is to use pheromone traps which are designed specifically to attract these moths. Contact us for treatment if your continue to have a problem.

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