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Are Clothing Moths A Problem?

clothing moth on the ground

Clothing moths are destructive creatures that tend to hide when disturbed, so you might go for a long period before realizing you have a problem. If you want to keep your fabric, fur, and feathered items safe, it is a good idea to know what these destructive pests look like, both in their adult stage, and in their larval stage.

The webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) is the most common fabric moth. The adult is only about 1/2 of an inch long, and is gold with reddish-golden hairs on its head. Its wings have a fringe of golden hair on their edges and are ¼ of an inch long. These moths are weak flyers and they are not attracted to light, so you will usually find them close to infested areas, such as in dark closets where your treasured clothing items are stored. This is actually the easiest way to determine what kind of moth you have. If they are in your clothes closet, they are clothing moths. Also, they tend to flutter about rather than fly in a steady, direct manner. These moths should not be confused with common food-infesting moths, which tend to fly all around the structure they are infesting, and do not have the red-gold tuft of hair on their heads.

Adult clothing moths don't eat and they don't damage clothing. But, even though they don't do damage, they are still a problem. Their purpose is to lay eggs. The more eggs they are able to lay, the more eggs you'll have hatching inside your home, and the more fabric eating larvae you'll have crawling around.

Clothing moth larvae are creamy-white colored larvae which can be as long as ½ an inch. They can also be identified by their feeding tunnels of silk, or webbing patches left behind on fabric, as they move around. Types of fabric these larvae feed on include the most expensive of items, such as woolen garments and cashmere sweaters. They will also put holes in antique rugs, tapestries, curtains and many other types of fabric and clothing. It is important to note that female moths will look for dirty fabrics for oviposition, or egg laying. They are particularly attracted to fibers that contain human sweat or other decomposing organic matter. This is essential for larval development.

How can you get rid of these destructive pests?

While keeping clothing areas clean, putting clothing in plastic bags, and regular vacuuming will help keep clothing moths at bay, when you already have an infestation, it is advisable to partner with a pest control company to completely take care of the problem. Witt Pest Management can help. The educated professionals here at Witt, know how to completely address clothing moth infestations, and arrest the damage being done. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.