Clothes Moth

Color: Golden
Family: Lepidoptera
Order: Tineidae

There are two types of clothes moths (case making and webbing) that may cause serious damage to materials of animal origin such as feathers, wool, furs, mummified carcasses and piano felts, or to material of plant origin such as tobacco, various herbs, seasonings and assorted plant-based drugs. Clothes moths have world-wide distribution and are found throughout Canada and the United States.

 

Clothes Moth Identification

Case-making clothes moth adults measure up to 14 mm from wing tip to wing tip and both wings are long and narrow. The body and wings are buff to golden colour with brownish tinge, except for 3 dark spots on each wing. The larvae of this moth carries its silken case wherever it goes. Webbing clothes moth adults measure up to 12 mm from wing tip to wing tip. Both wings are long and narrow. Wings and body are uniformly buff/golden colour except for a tuft of reddish setae (hairs) on the top of the head.

Clothes Moth Habitat

Adult moths are poor fliers, and avoid light. Silken tubes will be evident in the hidden portions of clothes such as under collars, as well, holes in material may be present. In fur, the hairs may be clipped at their base causing loose fur and exposed hide. Cases can also be found in a crack or crevice away from the infested materials.

Clothes Moth Life Cycle

Females lay an average of 30 to 50 eggs, and attach them to material. The webbing clothes moth has a developmental time of 50 to 90 days. The female dies after her eggs are laid, whereas the male may live to 28 days. The case-making clothes moth has a developmental time of 46 to 116 days. Adult females live 3 to 8 days while males lives 3 to 5 days.

Clothes Moth Prevention

Regular inspection of clothing, carpets and other materials made of natural fibres is essential, as is regular cleaning of these materials.

Preparation Steps for Clothes Moth Treatment

1. Vacuum all rugs, carpet and upholstered furniture. Vacuum bag should be discarded upon completion.

2. Any unlaundered wool, or natural fibre clothing should be laundered or at least placed in a hot dryer for one hour.

3. Furniture should be pulled away from the edges of rooms and closet floors, and shelves where insect activity has been seen should be cleared, so that your Abell service technician will have access to all areas.

4. Vacate the premises during service and do not re-enter until at least 4 hours after treatment. Open windows for 20 minutes after re-entry if possible. Before service, infants, pregnant women and people suffering from heart, kidney, respiratory ailments or allergies should consult a medical doctor.

Download Cloth Moth Preparation Sheet

Clothes Moth - Questions and Answers

How do I know if I have an infestation of clothes moths?

Adult moths are poor fliers, and avoid light. Silken tubes will be evident in the hidden portions of clothes such as under collars, as well, holes in material may be present. In fur, the hairs may be clipped at their base causing loose fur and exposed hide. Cases can also be found in a crack or crevice away from the infested materials.

Can I do anything to prevent a clothes moth infestation?

Regular inspection of clothing, carpets and other materials made of natural fibres is essential, as is regular cleaning of these materials.

How do I control an infestation of clothes moths?

Your local Abell Pest Control office has products developed for the control of clothes moths. Depending on the severity of infestation, a single control measure may not be effective and an integrated program conducted by an Abell service technician will be required.


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