Catching Up

7/18/2014 07:10:00 AM | 6 Comments
Well, here we are a good month and a half into the rainy season, and for the most part, as dry as it is during the dry season. Don't know if that's something related to global climatic changes or just a quirk with the local weather.

Speaking of water. We finally got our new tank for the reverse osmosis (RO) system. Hooray! No more toting 5-gallon bottles of water up a flight of stairs. That is a chore that I guarantee is never going to get easier, especially as you (or me, in this case) keep getting older. Of course toting a crate of Belikin upstairs is no joy either. Just that the reward for doing so is much more pleasant once the bottles are cooled down.
New Reverse Osmosis Tank
The tank for the RO is much smaller than the old one. The old one was a 14-gallon tank. I thought when we initially set up the system that I was really going to need the larger size, having nothing to relate it to.
Size Comparison
It soon became apparent that the smaller size was more than adequate. About the only time I would have needed the larger one would have been if I was filling 5-gallon bottles. As it is, we generally only use the 1-liter bottles.

Breakages to report... Well, I guess not breakage - it's already broken. It's a 'repairage', if that's a word. My Shop Vac has been out of commission for some time. I had given it to Cecil to fix, which he did. Then I promptly broke it when I tested the motor and gave it back to Cecil.

Cecil managed to fix it again. So, the motor works fine. The problem is the blower connected to the motor. It's made out of soft aluminum and has two steel flanges (I guess that's what they're called) on either side to provide strength during operation to withstand the torque generated when the motor starts up and runs.
Shop Vac Blower With Flange
Both of those have separated from the blower, allowing the blower to freewheel. I'm going to try some JB Weld today to see if I can glue those two items back to the blower.
J-B Weld Steel Epoxy
It appears they were originally press-fit together.
Blower Showing Flange Removed
There's another flange that fits on the other side of the blower. Gluing these to the blower is my project for this morning. Stay tuned.

Aints and more aints are driving everyone down here crazy. That's ants to the uninitiated. It seems the little buggers are trying to move into our homes to escape the rains which are sure to come... Maybe. Anyway, we've been waging war with them.

The treatment du jour is some stuff we've tried before and it sort of worked. Terro Ant Bait. It came before in these little plastic tray thingies that you cut a hole in it and the aint was supposed to go inside and suck up the juice then leave.
Terro Ant Baits
I think the aints here got wise to the deal and wouldn't have anything to do with the tray. But, Terro, came out with some new stuff. It's called Terro Ant Killer. I don't know if it's the same formulation or not, but it comes in a handy squeeze bottle.
Terro Ant Killer
You put three or four drops on a piece of cardboard (supplied as part of the kit) and place it where the aints can get to it easily. They love the stuff. We've been refilling the stations three and four, or more, times a day and it really does get rid of them. We've been using it so much, that we've taken to replacing the cardboard stations with beer bottle caps - tidier and easier to pick up and place.

Thank God we have a pool - That's our A/C. We're in it every day, and almost all day too. We're averaging mid-nineties temp and humidity. We use machetes to cut a path through the air just to walk.

The car made its pilgrimage up to Rick's again. Only for a day this time. A drive shaft bearing or something like that had gone out and was grinding its way to oblivion. Rick was able to fix it and got it back to me by early afternoon the following day.

I think that's it for this installment. I've got some dishes to do, then to the workshop and tackle the J-B Weld thing. See you later.
Before we get started with today's lesson in electricity, I have to tell you this bit.

The day started off as usual with a walk with the girls. That went as you would expect. After a shower and breakfast, I made a quick trip into town to get some groceries. Nothing unusual there.

Dianna beat me to the pool this morning, so I made it to the pool about 10:30 AM. Roughly about 11:15, Cecil showed up with my ShopVac motor. Cecil had taken it the day before to see if he could get it working. I plugged it in at the gate to test it.

Oh yeah, it worked! Damn near took my finger off when it fired up. Two things - 1) I forgot to check the on-off button of the motor, and 2) I was holding the part of the motor that would rotate at about a bazillion RPM.

So, I plugged it in and promptly dropped it after it savagely mauled my finger. Dropping it didn't do much other than cause the motor to separate into two parts - both trying to go faster than the other, and with a great deal of sparking and noise. The two parts were still connected by wires. After a mili-second or three (it seemed much longer, believe me), I reached up and yanked the power cord out of the outlet.

After picking up the pieces, I returned to Cecil at the gate, and told him the motor worked fine, but would he mind trying to fix it again? I know he thought something  like Geez, what a loose cannon here. But he was too polite to say anything other than "I'll try and bring it back tomorrow."

I then returned to the pool, stopping first to clean up and bandage my finger. As I returned to the pool, I was telling Dianna what had happened at the gate, and suddenly felt a sharp stinging in my left forearm. I saw some little black bug on my arm, which I promptly whacked, and fished it out of the water. It was one of those microscopic wasps. Stung pretty good for such a small critter too.

As I finished telling Dianna about the episode at the gate, and telling her about the wasp, I got bit on the right thumb by a doctor fly. So, what else could happen now? By the time I was finished telling Dianna of my travails, she reminded me that it was a little past noon, and if I was going to catch any of the game (USA v. Germany in the World Cup) I better get a move on.

Thank God for the break. The way I was being attacked left, right, and center, it was not looking good for me to survive the rest of the pool session, much less the afternoon. So, I went back up to the house and turned on the tube to watch USA lose to Germany, but that was OK, as both sides were advanced to the next phase of the Cup.

Now, what I was really going to write about. If you follow the blog, you know I've been having problems with the weather station. After some time, I finally narrowed the problem cause to one of possible electrical error, which I wrote about several times. Billy had read some of those postings and sent along some amplifying information that I'll pass on to you.

All this technical stuff reminds me of when I was in Radar 'A' School, in the Navy, at Treasure Island. Treasure Island was a cold, bleak, wind, rain, and snow swept lump of rock in the middle of San Francisco Bay - within easy view of Alcatraz, the infamous Federal prison. There were some similarities beyond just being co-located. But, that's another story.

What Billy's bit reminds me about, is one of the instructors at the 'A' School. Of course, they were all Navy Radarmen from the fleet, serving a tour ashore. This particular instructor, Radarman First Class, Petty Officer Fogbound (No lie. That was his actual name.) was usually assigned to us for the afternoon lecture - right after lunch. Anyone who's been in the military knows it's a cardinal sin to doze off during a lecture.

Petty Officer Fogbound's favorite topic was advancing our knowledge of electricity and electronics beyond the basics (which we had just spent 8 weeks in San Diego learning about). his favorite tool or example was a character he called Joe Electron, and every time he mentioned Joe Electron, he would give a thunderous clap to the blackboard, guaranteeing that even the sleepiest of us young sailors in the class would snap to and be alert for the next little while.

You know how names sometimes fit the action. Well Petty Officer Fogbound's lectures were just that - fogbound and as obtuse as could be. Thankfully little Joe Electron (BANG!) frequently came along and jarred us awake.

So, here's Billy's piece on AA batteries. Watch out for Joe Electron...

Billy is a friend of ours, who, with his wife Pam, have lived here in Belize, and in Oregon, for several years now. Billy worked in the battery business for around thirty years, so you might say he has some experience in the field. Billy sent me this information about the various AA battery types after reading my posting of the problems I had been having with my weather station and my amazement at finding out that all AA batteries are not necessarily created equal.

Billy said; "A little insight into rechargeable AA batteries. [First, their voltages]: Alkaline - 1.5V; NiCd - 1.2V; NiMH - 1.2V; and Li-ion - 3.6V."

"When multiple batteries are used, you must know the voltage of the device to know whether the batteries are series or parallel. For instance, three Alkaline AA batteries in series are 4.5 volts; and in parallel they are 1.5 volts."

"You can replace Alkaline batteries with NiCd or NiMH batteries in most devices. Due to different charging characteristics you must use the proper charger for each rechargeable [battery] chemistry. Just remember, in batteries, the amount of voltage you get from a cell depends on the chemistry."

"An easy example is lead acid. A lead acid cell is 2.1 volts. A 12-Volt car battery is actually six - 2.1-Volt cells hooked together in series, in a container or case. A 6-Volt Alkaline battery is actually four - 1.5 Alkaline cells in series. A common 6-volt Alkaline lantern battery is really four - D-cell batteries in series, in a case."

"Replacing two NiCd or NiMH batteries with two Li-ion batteries would not be possible. In fact you could ruin the device. Also NiCd and NiMH batteries must be cycled down [discharged] completely before recharging for the longest total life. Li-ion batteries will last longer if they are not totally discharged before recharging."

"Most chargers operate on a timer principle, but some actually measure the charging current and shut off when the battery is charged, thus preventing overcharge or undercharge."

"Some other useful information: you will only get the capacity (amount of energy) of the weakest cell in a series. Kind of like links in a chain. That's why you should always replace all the batteries in a device at the same time."

"And one last thing comes to mind. Sometimes the current draw on a device is so low or the circumstance of its use is such it doesn't make sense to use a rechargeable battery. In fact sometimes it makes more sense to use the cheapest battery you can get. A good example is a smoke detector. They have a very low current draw, but also they should be replaced every year, no matter what battery you use, so why get an expensive battery? I gained a lot of happy customers when they came in expecting to spend $10.00 and left spending $1.99. Also when a battery says Super Heavy Duty don't think it has more capacity than Alkaline. It doesn't , but that is the battery I would use in my smoke detector if I was prudent and changed them every year, if I didn't change them. than I would use alkaline as super heavy duty are more prone to corrosion with age. That's the lesson for the day." 

Thanks Billy. That helps me to understand why my weather station has been kaput for a while now. Hopefully as soon as I get some Li-ion rechargeable AA batteries, I'll be back in business.

I don't think Joe Electron surprised us once, did he?

Boy, it sure would be nice to have someone to help keep things neat and tidy around the house. Something that would be consistent, manage it's own time and not bother us too much. Lord knows, we're busy enough as it is. Something that could...

Robby Helping Around the House
Well, maybe Robby might be stretching things a bit much. Maybe something a bit more domestic is what we have in mind. How about something that was just focused on keeping the place clean. That's good enough for starters...
Rosie, Perhaps?
Probably not quite that advanced, but Rosie's a step in the right direction. Maybe something that's not going to stretch the technological bounds quite so much. Something, oh I dunno, maybe a little smaller than a breadbox, that will do one thing, and do it well...

Something like a Roomba. Why that's it. We just happened to have friends who have a Roomba, and they've been kind enough to loan us the use of theirs for the weekend. Just to try it out and see if something like this is for us.

This is Colleen's little pet, iRobot Roomba, Spot. He or She, is all charged up and ready to go for it's second day of cleaning.
Spot, Charged and Ready to Go
Right about at the stroke of noon, Spot sang a little tune (I guess to let us and all the animals nearby know that she/he is about ready to begin the workday). Right away, Spot took off and began industriously cleaning the bedroom - especially under the bed.

Of course, this new activity requires supervision. Nelson figured he was the one who most frequently goes under the bed, the couch, and just about anything else, so he nominated himself to supervise Spot. Here he is, doing a magnificent job of it too.
Nelson Closely Supervising Spot
Apparently, we have become infected with hitekitis. I think it all started because Huey, our pool-cleaning cabana-boy robot just was so cute, and did such a good job, that the closer we looked at Bruce and Colleen's iRobot Roomba, named Spot, the more we could see similarities between the two.

Huey cleans the pool in a random pattern, if you can call it that. And that's pretty much how the Roomba works as well. So, like I said, the more we looked at the Roomba, the more sense it made for us. Then, Colleen loaned their Roomba to David and Elizabeth to try out. This led directly to their ordering a Roomba of their own. All this suggested that we should try out Spot and see if we needed such a selfless household servant as well.

The end result is, we have Spot for the weekend, and we're giving him/her a good tryout. I think it's a done deal. I guess I had better begin perusing Ebay and Amazon for a reasonably-priced refurbished version of Spot for our very own.

I've got to get out of the way. Spot is trying to clean the office as I type and he/she doesn't take kindly to anyone getting in his/her way.
It's that time of year again. Blow the dust off the old Hurricane Preparedness Plan, Upset all the snakes, spiders, Scorpions, Cucaraches, Geckos, Mice, and whatever else that has been making the hidey-hole under the stairs where the generator has been lurking, their home for the past year or so. Drag the generator out to the light of day and see if it will start.

That'd be a big no. So, I called Terrence Leslie to come give it a swift kick and see if he could get the thing to turn over.

Of course. With one pull by Terrence, the generator fired right up. We shut it down and he departed to help someone who couldn't get their outboard motor to start.

After I re-stowed the generator, I decided to fire it up once again. This time intending to put it under load by hooking up a floor fan and the chest freezer while it ran. Guess what? It wouldn't power either thing. In fact, it wouldn't power anything. It wasn't producing juice, current, or anything resembling electricity. The engine ran like a top though.

As luck would have it, I called Terrence and managed to catch him before he returned to town, so he was able to stop by that same morning and look at the thing. He couldn't make it produce current either, so it was going to require a trip to his shop and a visit with an electrician who specialized in these things.

It was a couple days later, when Terrence brought the generator back. This after a few phone calls to let me know that a capacitor (I hate capacitors) had blown and the electrician was trying to locate a replacement.

For those of you who have been regular readers of this blog, you've seen pictures of the smallish, rectangular capacitors as used in ceiling fans. Well, this capacitor is nothing like that. It's huge. Kind of banana-shaped and prongs and no wires at only one end.
Generator Capacitor - Blown
Anyhoo, it took the electician a day or so to locate a suitable (not exact) replacement. And, so, as I said before, it's back, working, and properly stowed in its cage.

I used to think that it was a huge generator and that it could power the whole house. Well, it probably could, back in the day. Back when we had one fridge, a couple of fans, a few light bulbs, and a well pump. Not now with us using two fridges, a freezer, the well pump, a swimming pool pump, lots more lighting, lots more fans, and a whole assortment of electrical and electronic gadgetry.

If I tried to fire up the generator under a load involving the whole house, why, it would probably blow a capacitor... Oops. I wonder. Could that have been why it blew before?

So, I conducted what is called an energy audit of everything we had. Number of fridges and their power requirements, the power requirements of pumps, etc, even down to the number of lightbulbs used. Not that you would normally turn all the bulbs on at the same time, but you never know. This was all to get some sort of idea of what our electrical load throughout the place is. And it's a lot more of a load than the generator can handle all at once.

Winjama Electrical Load Calculation
So, I've been modifying my 'Switch-On Sheet.' This is the sheet that I keep up next to the circuit breaker panel that tells me what order to bring electrical things back up while under generator power, but what circuit specific items (each fridge, the freezer, fans, etc., are located on, so I can bring critical things back up under generator power and not blow the generator. It also helps me to be able to switch between the various circuits, do do just that.
Upstairs Breaker Switch Chart
I could solve the problem by getting a generator (preferably with auto start) that could take care of the whole place. But that might be something to think about down the road. Like when there's more money laying around not doing anything in particular.

Now, for something entirely different.

Here's something I've been kind of casually pondering. Trojan - you know, the folks who make Condoms, Rubbers, Cock Socks, Condomus Maximus, French Letters, Gentleman's Jerkins, Raincoats, and at least a hundred other names for the same thing, have come out with a new condom.
I saw an advertisement for them on TV. They're advertised as a 'dual-lubricant' condom - on the outside for her, on the inside for him.

Now, unless Trojan has invented a new way of rolling rubbers, I've been wondering just exactly how they accomplish that feat - keeping the two different lubricants separate. Know what I mean? It just sounds like some sort of magic trick to me. Kind of a wallet-sized magician's kit.


Here's something else.

I always thought AA batteries were AA batteries. That they all had the same voltages (well, except the cheap Chinese knockoffs), and pretty much operated the same. Not so.

I learned this thanks to my weather station that I've been fighting with for months now. It seems that AA batteries come in at least three or four or more different versions, configurations, or whatever. Alkaline, Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), and Lithium Ion (Li).

Even Wikipedia has some wrong or outdated material regarding AA batteries. They say that Li batteries are not rechargeable. There is a rechargeable version.

I'm going to concentrate on the Li and NiMH and Alkaline, because that's what I ran into trying to get correct power for my weather station. What I recommend is that you read the instructions (strange thing to say, I know) for your particular piece of equipment and do what it says. it's not that the manufacturer is in cahoots with one battery type or another, but that the piece of equiprment they have manufactured may actually have different power requirements and really needs to use different batteries.

Case in point. My weather station instructions, at the very tail-end of the manual, says to use rechargeable Li AA batteries in the transmitter and Alkaline standard batteries in the receiver. It did come with a couple rechargeable AA batteries, so i lucked out and used the correct batteries in the transmitter when I initially set the station up.

But when it came time to replace those same batteries, did I read the instructions? No. All I knew was that it took AA batteries. I stuffed NiMH ones into the transmitter and had nothing but frustration for months while I was trying to figure out why the damned thing just wouldn't work right. I also put NiMH batteries in the receiver. All contrary to the instructions.

Well, there's a reason they specify those different batteries. it seems they produce different voltages when they're being used. Why? Who knows. It is probably a conspiracy to complicate consumer's lives. I'm sure it is.

Anyway, it wasn't until I was at my wits-end and the virtual end of my rope that I sat down and really read the manual. And that was when I finally found out about the different voltages and such and why they specified the batteries they did.

Which brings us to now. I'm trying to find rechargeable Lithium Ion (Li) batteries here in Corozal. Hah! But wait. There's more. Not only am I trying to find rechargeable Li batteries, but they also take a different charger than the NiMH batteries - unless you happen to luck out and have a charger like Colleen has.

Her charger has a switch on it so you can change from Li to NiMH charging, but only if you charge two of either type at a time. You can't charge one Li and one NiMH. Time will stop and the world will end if you do that. You have to charge two Li or two NiMH. And remember to put the switch in the correct position for the batteries that you're going to charge.

I have access to Alkaline AA batteries with no problem. Those I'll use on the receiver. it's the transmitter that is the problem until I get the Li rechargeable batteries.

I have a whole slew of NiMH rechargeable batteries and a charger for them. The only problem with all that is that I have nothing that needs an NiMH battery - rechargeable or not.
Hi Anonymous Commenter.

I'm sorry, but if you don't have balls enough to sign your name when you insult someone, don't try to use my blog to do it. Why don't you start your own blog. Then you can say whatever you want to whoever wants to read your drivel - which, without your name accompanying your comment, is all that your comment is - drivel. As such, it's deleted.

Enjoy your day.

Dave Rider

Just In Time, Too!

4/28/2014 01:48:00 PM | 23 Comments
Finally, after months of having a defective station for some pretty poor excuses, Winjama Weather is back up and functioning.

Winjama Weather is up on Weather Underground, Weatherbug, APRS/CWOP, WOW, and PWS Weather. (A quick aside to John - See? It did happen.)

The Automatic Packet Reporting System-Internet Service (APRS-IS)is maintained and operated by volunteer Amateur Radio operators to provide world-wide capabilities to the Amateur Radio APRS RF networks and to promote the Amateur Radio service as a whole.

The Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) is a public-private partnership with three goals: 1) to collect weather data contributed by citizens; 2) to make these data available for weather services and homeland security; and 3) to provide feedback to the data contributors so they have the tools to check and improve their data quality.

PWS Weather - Brings together personal weather station data worldwide from locales not served by primary weather services. is a partnership between HAMweather, LLC and, LLC. The purpose of the program is to bring together data from personal weather stations worldwide, display it and make it available for other purposes.

WOW - Supported by both the UK Department for Education and the Royal Meteorological Society, one of the main aims for the Weather Observations Website (WOW) has always been to provide an interesting real-time tool for helping people learn about the weather.

Most of those letters probably don't mean anything to you and there's no reason that they should either unless you're really into the geeky side of weather information.

Winjama Weather is displayed right here on the blog in the right-hand column. Scroll down a bit and you'll see the pretty blue sticker, as it's called.
Winjama Weather Sticker
The information on the sticker gives you a quick snapshot of current conditions right here at Casa Winjama. If you double-click on the sticker, it'll expand and give you a more detailed look at what's going on weather-wise right here in the south-end of Corozal.

The information displayed is a bit more geekiness right up front:
APRSWXNET Corozal BZ (MD6180) Elev 6 m | 18.38 °N, 88.40 °W

All that means is that Weather Underground (Wunderground for short) is receiving Casa Winjama's weather information from the APRS Weather Network; that Winjama Weather is located in Corozal; MD6180 is the APRS identifier for Winjama Weather, the actual elevation above sea level for the station itself is 6 meters (it's on the roof of our pool house at 19-feet) and the rest is Winjama Weather's actual latitude and longitude.

Once you get through the geekiness, then you get a bit more detailed current weather information, and forecasts for coming attractions, er, weather.

If that's not enough, and if we're in hurricane season, which is coming up directly, the box following will provide you a wealth of hurricane information for the Atlantic Basin and Caribbean Sea.
Winjama Hurricane Sticker
Don't forget, once in a while, to check the far Eastern Pacific reports. Storms have been known to jump from the Pacific to the Caribbean Sea and scare the pants off of all of us - remember Tropical Storm Arthur, anyone?

Have fun, enjoy the weather. Impress your friends and family up north with our humidity and heat indices.

What started me thinking about this was because we seem to be overrun with the little critters this year. I mean, we’ve had them on our ‘basement’ walls every year since we built the place, but this year, it’s a bumper crop.

It’s kind of strange. I guess I never really looked closely at them till this year. I never realized that there was a live, moving bug inside most of these little things. Well there is.

This also was the first year that we noticed them upstairs in the main living area of the house. As a result, I got curious about them this year. I first spent quality time observing one of them while I was sitting on the throne (as you do) taking care of some personal business. I happened to see what appeared to be some sort of worm or bug sticking out of one end of the thing and actually moving the thing along as it went. I’d never seen that before.

After that revelatory and satisfying experience, I happened to ask a few folks at our Friday pool party if they knew what the critters were. Everyone had seen the things, but no one had a clue as to what they might be.

I didn’t think they looked particularly ominous, but down here, with as many critters as there are, and some quite bad-ass ones to boot, you just never know. I wasn’t real keen to grab one and get bitten or stung and find out I’ve got like 30-seconds to live.

My only experience of getting into close contact with them previously was to grab my broom and sweep them off the walls into a nice tidy little pile, scoop them up into the dustpan and then deposit them into a nearby trash container.

Not that now that I know more about them, that I get particularly cozy and all with them, but now I don’t fret if I happen to actually make real, physical contact with them.

So, wanting to know more about them, but having run into a knowledgeability roadblock with our social crew, I thought I’d ask Dianna to post a photo on Facebook and see if anyone had more of an idea what they were than this lot seemed to.
My Blurry Photo of Small Bug-Thing
I would have done it myself, but for religious reasons, I refuse to have anything to do with Facebook.

Dianna had never posted a photo to Facebook before and suggested I ask Colleen to do it, so that’s what I did.

Tuesday, I emailed Colleen the following:
Hi Colleen,

I've attached a photo of those little bug things that seem to hang out on the inside walls. It's not a very good photo, but I think it gets the idea across.

The bug thing appears to be about 5/8th inch long by 1/4th inch wide at the middle. they're flat and appear to have some sort of worm sort of thing poking out of one end or the other, and they really like being on walls. It appears to be a very small inch-worm like critter. Must be a larval form of some type of moth.

If you could post the photo and the description to Facebook and ask if anyone can identify it, I'd appreciate it. I did ask Dianna to do it, but she didn't know how to do the photo end of it. Thanks.

While Colleen was posting the photo and request to Facebook, she and her hubby, Bruce, were playing host to the best minds in the business, who happened to be getting ready for a heavy day of playing golf. Their suggestion as relayed by Colleen as to what we were dealing with was the following:

The golfers said, “They are a cocoon of sorts. Have a tiny caterpillar inside that changes to a moth. We all have a lot.of them.this year.”

I’m glad I didn’t bet the kingdom on that answer. Those boys must have read my email. Colleen also provided a potentially useful tidbit when she said that her housekeeper called them ‘dust bugs.’Does that help?

Apparently, there were more witty responses on Facebook to the posting. One from some wag named ‘CT’ who suggested turning up the A/C as that made them go away. Wonderful. In the meantime, I wouldn’t be able to afford my electric bill - that’s assuming I had A/C in the first place, which I don’t.

After a few more erudite comments from the peanut gallery, CT actually came back with the most complete and concise posting on the topic. Big ups to him for that. He posted a link ( to an informative article written by a Florida County Extension Agent (Daniel F. Culbert) about our critters. He called them ‘Plaster Bagworms’ (Phereoeca dubitatrix).

I’ve since found all kinds of research about the critters. It seems that the more correct name for them is the following from the University of Florida:

Phereoeca uterella is a species of moth belonging to the family Tineidae. It is commonly known as the plaster bagworm but as the term "bagworm" more properly refers to moths of a different family (Psychidae), it is often called the household casebearer – which may in turn refer to the related Phereoeca allutella. It is found in warm, humid climates throughout the Americas although the exact range is difficult to map as it is easily confused with other case-bearing tineids.”

This came from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ( It seems the experts (so-called) have as much trouble as us lay people telling what’s what in the critter world.

Wikipedia had a much better photo, below, of the thing than my blurry effort.
Household Casebearer - From Wikipedia
Quite a bit more hot skinny on these critters is in a publication from the University of Florida IFAS Extension,  Publication #EENY003 ( The publication also includes several photos, of which, below is a couple showing the Household Casebearer as we’ve seen them, and one showing the end result, the moth. Kind of pretty, that.
Household Casebearer Showing Larva
Female Household Casebearer Moth
Well, now we know more, but we’re still not sure exactly what we’re dealing with. It seems they could be any one of about three or four species of moth. I guess we can agree on the almost politically correct sounding name of Household Casebearer as being more specifically descriptive.

I dunno, I sort of like ‘dust bug.’ At least now we all know a lot more about these things than when we started. We can be assured now as we sweep them into our dustpans that the Household Casebearer isn’t quite the danger that it initially seemed was possible. Unless of course, you want to save and protect all those wool sweaters and such that you brought down with you.