Adult moths are 1/2-inch long from wing tip to wing tip; when the
wings are folded, the insect is about 1/4-inch long. The wings and
body are buff/golden except for reddish hairs on top of the head.
The antennae are darker than the rest of the body, and the eyes are
black/ The larvae are 1/2-inch long when mature.
They are small caterpillars that are a clear to creamy-white color
with a light brown head capsule.
The females carefully place their eggs deep in the mesh of the infested
fabric by attaching the eggs with a glue they secrete. Each female
lays 40 to 50 eggs which hatch in four days to three weeks.
The newly-emerged larvae begin to feed immediately.
They often spin silken tunnels or mats, incorporating fragments of
the textile being infested and bits of feces into its construction.
The larvae molt five to 45 times, depending on conditions, taking
from 35 days to two years to finish development.
They eventually spin a silken cocoon in which they pupate.
Adults live for approximately two weeks.
Webbing clothes moth larvae feed on clothes, carpets, rugs, upholstered
furniture, felt, animal hair, and stored wool.
They especially like to feed on soiled materials.
Adults have nonfunctional mouthparts and do not feed.
These moths are the most common clothes moth found in the United States.
Adult webbing clothes moths are seldom seen because they void light.
Nap of wool eaten away in spots if lightly damaged; holes completely
through the fabric if infestation is extensive.
Larvae may be present in the tubes.
If fur, hair are cut at the base, exposing the hide and causing loose
Fixed silken tubes, sometimes carrying frass(shavings), often the
color of the cloth.
Fecal pellets are bun-shaped.
A complete inspection is necessary before beginning any control
Fabric pests like cloth moths are sometimes confused with pantry
pest moths. They are close in size and appearance. Many times an
infestation can start in a grain or meal product, but cloth moths
will travel to your closet areas to infest the preferred source
of woolens, ect.
Pantry moths will stay in the pantry areas.
is important to remember that adults to not cause the damage, but
the larvae do.The presence of adults in an area,
doesn't mean that larvae are nearby, in that they may have laid
their eggs in another room, and the adults are randomly moving around.
adults like to fly towards light.
The larvae of both clothes moths and the beetles prefer to feed
in secluded, hidden places.
a flash light and a small spatula may be necessary to seek out the
The larvae may be found in dark clothes in closets, furs, woolens,
and carpet bits, or other material in storage.
can also be found in lint and animal hair found under baseboards,
edges of carpeting, under upholstered furniture, under edges of
carpets, in air ducts, and occasionally in stored products in the
pantry like cereals.
use of a knife blade or spatula will help examine the lint closely
for live larvae or cast skins.
It is important to consider natural sources when
making an inspection, such as woolens.
are often attracted to soiled fabrics (such as clothing soiled with
body oil or perspiration) and cracks and crevices where lint, food
crumbs or dead insects accumulate.
Carpet beetle larvae may also feed on stored cereals, dry pet food
and wool piano felts.
beetle infestations are more likely to be discovered because of
the damage they do, not because large populations are being found.
larva and adults are easily killed, eggs and pupa are not.
for articles of woolen clothing which may have been stored and neglected,
and check the premises for old furniture and rugs which may be a
source of a continuing infestation.
Other important areas of concern may be include sites which represent
the natural habitat of these insects. Sparrow, starling, or other
bird nests, inside or outside of the premises, are common points
Bird nests in fireplaces and attics can be common sites.
Wasp nests which are found under eaves and in attics are also common
sources of carpet beetle and clothes moth infestations.
Another source of food material for carpet beetle and clothes moth
larvae is accumulations of animal hair which may be found quite
often in homes where pets are kept.
Shed hair may accumulate in heating ducts, beneath furniture, or
in hard-to-clean corners.
These loose tangles of hair may be sufficient to sustain a small
population of fabric pests
for a long period of time, even in places where all wool products
might have been treated.
Prevention and Sanitation:
is important in fabric pest.
is important to frequently and thoroughly vacuum carpet and upholstery,
and dry clean susceptible clothing such as the woolens.
not store discarded garments, fur or animal pelts, old wool rugs,
feather pillows, or such vulnerable fabrics for long.
Soiled fabrics such as synthetic fibers can also be attacked by
potential sites can be dried flower arrangements, or decorative
items with "seeds" in them.
behind door casings,under heat radiators, and inside furnace or
air conditioning registers should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner.
garment bags or storage boxes , moth balls would work fine.
Moth balls( napthalene )can work as continuous repellent, but most
be in a stored, sealed container.
Recommended rates for PDB are 1.0-1.25 lb. active ingredient per
100 cu. ft. of storage space.
Cedar chests or cedar closets don't work well, because a sufficiently
tight seal is rarely maintained.
Cold vaults for garment storage would be effective for valuable
A complete inspection of the closets and other areas is the first order
The soiled garments, particularly woolens need to be dry cleaned or
the inspection, critical areas should receive the special attention.
The insecticides will kill exposed adults and larvae.
In carpets, it would be around the baseboards.
In furniture it would be around the buttons, zippers and seams.
vacuuming cracks and crevices in the closets , an aerosol with a
crack and crevice tip such as PERMA
DUST OR INTRUDER
can be sprayed in the cracks and crevices.
insecticide such as DEMAND
SC or PERMA
DUST would be a good choice for spot treatments.
rugs, carpets, and furniture should be cleaned thoroughly and protected
with a residual insecticide application. A recommended residual
insecticide would be DEMAND
Sensitive items, such as museum pieces, wall mountings, furs, taxidermy
mounts, etc., might require vaults fumigation or treatment with
Major pest control companies do have chambers for this type of control.
keep pets and children off the wet surface until it dries.
is the best control.
vacuum cleaning of rugs and furniture removes lint and pet hair
as well as some of the larvae.
clothing should be kept in tightly closed containers.
items, such as museum pieces, wall mountings, furs, taxidermy mounts,
etc., might require vaults fumigation or treatment with temperature
control. Major pest control companies do have chambers for this
type of control.