Moths

Identification

  • Colour Varies by species
  • Size From 6 mm to 10 mm long, with wingspans from 12 mm to 16 mm
  • Also known as: Indian meal moths, Clothes moths.
  • Description Indian meal moths have a reddish-brown or copper sheen on their forewings, while clothes moths have a buff or gold colouration, with reddish-gold hairs on the top of the head and around the wings.
Moths

General Facts

Why do I have moths?

Many adult non-pest moths feed on nectar and sap, but their larvae feed voraciously on stored foods or fabrics. Female moths lay their eggs directly on these food sources, so the larvae can begin feasting as soon as they hatch. Adult moths tend to live near their larvae. Because of this, Indian meal moths commonly live in food processing and handling facilities and homes. Meanwhile, casemaking clothes moths and webbing clothes moths live in homes, museums, and fabric handling facilities. Indian meal moth larvae will consume seeds, grains, cereals, dehydrated herbs, and dried pet food, while clothes moth larvae can eat through wool carpets and rugs, clothing, upholstered furniture, furs, and all sorts of synthetic and cotton blends. Note that clothes moth larvae focus on the cuffs and collars of apparel, the crevices of upholstered furniture, and the carpeted areas underneath home furnishings. The pests typically attack old, dirty, or stained items. In most cases, the larvae spend up to two months eating through the stored food or fabric, before pupating and emerging as adult moths 10 days later. They begin reproducing immediately.

How worried should I be about moths?

Moth larvae can damage clothing, carpets, upholstered furniture, wall hangings, and even museum artifacts, and make pantry products unfit for consumption. Accidental ingestion of moth cocoons or larvae can cause gastrointestinal irritation and an upset stomach. These pests may also indicate the existence of an infestation problem where the product was manufactured or bought, causing granaries, warehouses, mills, and even retail establishments to lose business and profits over time. In the case of a home infestation, exposing stored foods to extremely high or low temperatures will kill the developing larvae and stop the threat of infestation. However, for larger or commercial infestations, you'll need the help of professional pest control services.

How can I prevent moths invading?

Look for silk webbing left by the larvae, Store pantry items in airtight containers, Vacuum up spilled foods promptly, Dry clean clothes, Steam clean furniture, Use pheromone traps

Types of Moths

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