Everything You Should Know About Clothes Moths

There are hundreds of different types of moths, some are attracted to, plants, others to your house, and some, such as the clothes moth, are attracted to specific items, such as your clothing. 

You may not think of a moth as a real threat. After all, they spend most of their time fluttering around lights. However, if you think you have clothes moths at home it will be time to call your local exterminators and get the problem resolved.

The Clothes Moth

Clothes moths are approximately ½ inch long and beige in color. They have small hairs at the end of a narrow set of wings and appear similar to grain moths. You also won’t see them often as, unlike most moths, they stay away from the light. That makes them very good at hiding at the back of your wardrobe.

Although there are more than one species of clothes moth, they all appear roughly the same. 

The Clothes Moth Attack

Adult clothes moths do not feed on your clothes! However, they do lay eggs, between 40-50 at a time. These eggs are laid onto suitable surfaces, namely clothes. When the eggs are ready they will hatch and the larvae appear, these need food to survive and grow, their food is the fabric they have been left on. 

It is worth noting that clothes moths prefer certain fabrics, specifically wool, fur, leather, silk, and even felt. These are natural fibers and have large amounts of keratin. This compound is actually a fibrous protein that is easy for the larvae to digest.

Synthetic clothes don’t have keratin in them, making it much less likely that you’ll have an issue with clothes moths when you only have synthetic clothes. 

In general, the moths are active laying eggs between May and October, this is when you need to pay particular attention to your clothes and call for assistance from your local pest control experts. The sooner you spot and deal with the issue the better, clothes moths can cause a significant amount of damage to your clothes in a very short space of time. 

Common Signs Of A Clothes Moth Infestation

As these pests avoid the light they are seldom seen. However, that does make it easier to check for them. If you start noticing any of the following signs then you probably have a cloth moth invasion. Shine a bright light into the back of your wardrobe to highlight any moths, if there are any clothes moths they will move away from the light. 

  • Tunnels in your clothes where the larvae have been eating
  • Patches of damage to rugs and clothes, especially those that have been in dark areas of your home
  • Larvae casings hanging off clothes and other fabrics
  • Seeing the moths, although this is not common
  • A crusty build-up on fabrics

The best advice is to keep fabrics clean, this will avoid you attracting the clothes moth. It can help to store expensive or seldom-used items in plastic bags, the moths can get to them!