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Family of three playing a board game

You're probably wondering where they come from and why they've chosen your home to infest. The good news is I have some answers for you. The bad news is, if you're reading this because you've already been dealing with these pests, it is too late to save your favorite sweater.

Characteristics of webbing moths.

Sometimes confused with pantry moths, these moths are poor fliers that prefer natural hair fibers to rice and wheat. You won't find these moths were food is stored, or flying around a light in the kitchen. They will be crawling on fleece coats, wool scarves, winter hats, sweaters, rugs and tapestries, in the dark. Not to feed, but to lay their eggs. You may be surprised to know that adult webbing moths do not eat at all. They get all their nutrients while in the larvae stage. Once they hatch from their cocoons, their only goal is to reproduce.

If they don't eat, what is eating my clothes?

Female moths lay eggs in clusters of 30 to 200, which stick to fabrics like glue. Four to ten days later they hatch into near-microscopic white caterpillar-like larvae. These little babies are what put those holes in your wool hat and chew up your ornamental carpets.

Why are they in my house?

These moths are all over Philadelphia. If you have them in your home, it is because they flew or squeezed their way in. And, because you have a food source: rugs stored in attics, wool hats with sweat on them, dusty sweaters crammed in a closet or even a couple dead mice in your wall voids. These moths are looking for a nutrient rich place to lay their eggs. They are drawn to natural hair fibers, and prefer them to be covered in bacteria, dead skin or sweat.

What can I do to get rid of them?

The best way to get rid of webbing moths is to not get them in the first place. If you plan to store items that have natural fibers, consider dry cleaning them first, and store them in a plastic clothing bag. If you store winter items in a box, consider putting them in a plastic tote or the cardboard box in a plastic bag. And, look into getting your exterior walls sealed by a professional.

Webbing moths are not a pest that homeowners have any success in getting rid of on their own. If you're tired of important items becoming food for webbing moths, partner with a pest control company. They can offer solutions that will keep this pest--and a host of other pests--from entering your home and chewing on your valuables. Get plugged in today.

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