Clothes Moths – The Facts
What does a clothes moth look like?
Clothes moths are typically about 1.5cm long and are silvery beige in colour. The females tend to make small jumps and walk along surfaces while the males fly in search of a mate. They do not fly towards light. Clothes moth eggs look like fine white dust and the larvae that emerge from these eggs look like small skinny white worms.
How quickly do clothes moths multiply?
A female moth can lay up to 400 eggs over a three week period. After she has laid her last egg, she dies. The male clothes moth will continue to mate for as long as there is warm weather. The eggs will only take a few days to hatch into larvae. This is the most destructive stage of a clothes moth’s lifecycle and can last up to two years! The larva will munch on material until it has had its fill. In the final stage of its life, it spins a cocoon where it turns into an adult moth, usually in the spring.
Where do clothes moths live?
Clothes moths love darkness, so a wardrobe, where there are lots of things to feast on is a fine prospect. As they don’t like light or movement, any type of storage facility that holds furniture, clothing or fabric items, is another favourite haunt. Clothes moths devour natural fibres. Expensive material such as cotton, silk, leather and wool are favourite egg-laying sites, where the larvae can hatch and eat to their heart’s content. If your garment has neglected stains or dried sweat patches, this makes for even more delicious feasting. Warmth is another deciding factor as to where a clothes moth makes its home. Property that is heated throughout the winter means that the larvae will survive comfortably throughout the cold season.
What are the signs of a clothes moth infestation?
- Holes in your clothes, especially those made of non-synthetic fibres.
- If you shop at Ebay or at charity outlets, then you could be inviting clothes moths into your home. Check for eggs and larvae and dry clean everything.
- Spotting the empty cocoons. They look like whispy, white, rice-shaped pouches.
- Seeing moths in your home. Clothes moths do not fly quickly so they are easily visible.
Does a moth infestation need controlling?
- Clothes moths have good taste. They will go for your most expensive clothes as well as attack valuable items in your home, such as sofas and carpets.
- If you are a commercial enterprise, such as a clothing retailer, a storage facility or a furniture outlet, you can lose huge amounts of stock in a very short time. Hotels and other service businesses are also at risk.
- It is very difficult to control a moth infestation. The adult moths quickly become immune to aging mothballs and other more organic solutions.