A New Tool for Forensic Scientists

Did you ever wonder what those pesky moths ate before they ate your clothes in your closet? Clothes moths were known previously to feed on dead animals. Recently, scientists also discovered that the casemaking clothes moth, one of the two most common closet menaces, can be helpful in forensic work as well!

The casemaking clothes moth, so named because it makes a fuzzy case-like home for itself as a young caterpillar, will eat human hair and can even feed on corpses. The caterpillars can eat enough hair to identify a body with DNA.

These moths can be particularly helpful if a body is moved to a new location. The caterpillar will move to a nearby spot, away from the body, to make its cocoon. Then, if the body is moved, DNA evidence from the caterpillar in the cocoon can tie the victim to the original location.

More information on this can be found at Science News.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Jackie Rabideau's picture
Jackie Rabideau says:

How do moths find their way into the closet anyway? I don't think I have any, so investigators won't be able to use their body as DNA for me!

posted on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 7:18pm
SLC's picture
SLC says:

Wow that is really interesting. I didn't know moths are like that but yeah how can you find them eatting someone hair or in your closet?? That really seem werid and creepy.

posted on Thu, 12/04/2008 - 9:02am

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