Clothes and Carpet Moth Control

The Common Clothes Moth

Common Clothes Moth

The Common Clothes Moth is 6mm – 8mm long and golden brown in colour.

They often live on woolen textiles, fabrics, carpets and rugs. Moths can be imported into properties on fabrics and soft furnishings. Although the adult moths can often be seen, it is the moth larvae/caterpillars that are causing the damage to clothes, furniture and wool mix carpets. The moth caterpillar is cream/white in colour with a brown head. Moth larvae like to live in undisturbed dark places such as on clothes in wardrobes, under furniture and skirting boards. Moth larvae will have between five and forty moults prior to pupation depending on the quality of their food. Common Clothes Moths thrive with a humidity of around 70%. In line with many insects the life cycle length of the moths is dependent on temperature with the moth eggs taking between 6 – 37 days to hatch, 60 – 200 days for the larvae to pupate and 10 – 52 days for pupal stage. The adult moths only live for a few weeks.

Besides seeing the adult moths, indicators of their presence are; small holes in fabrics, the excreta or frass of the moth larvae on clothes and carpets often mistaken for eggs, bald patches in carpet, silk trails on carpets under furniture.

Common Clothes Moth Larvae and Frass

Common Clothes Moth Larvae and Droppings (Frass)

The Case-bearing Clothes Moth is similar to the Common Clothes Moth, except the larvae spin a silken case around them which they carry like a snails shell.

It is important to identify sources of infestation along side any pest control treatment. These often include an old woolen jumper in a wardrobe, a carpet off-cut in a loft cupboard and areas of carpet under furniture that is rarely moved.

Once a survey of the property has been completed, gauging the extent of any infestation a tailor made program will be created to eradicate the moths. This can include a residual insecticide spray on carpets to kill the moth larvae, ULV (ultra low volume) misting treatment to kill the adult moths, void dusting and moth monitoring traps.

Indian Meal Moth

Indian Meal MothIndian Meal Moth Larvae

The Indian Meal Moth also known as the Pantry Moth is 8-11mm in length. The outer part of their wing is a copper / brown colour, with the inner part being a lighter grey. The mature Indian Meal Moth larvae are around 12mm in length. The female Indian Meal Moth will lay her eggs on cereals, dried fruits, edible nuts and many dry foods found in kitchen cupboards. The moth larvae can leave a silk trail over food stuffs when fully fed. The moth larvae can often be seen climbing vertical surfaces in kitchens as they look for a crack or crevice to hide in. The moth life cycle length is dependent on temperature, a full moth life cycle can take as little as six weeks. It is important to remove any infested food stuffs and then treat the area.