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Clothes Moth - Flying Insect Library - Saferbrand

Clothes Moth Control & Facts

Although you may see a moth flying around in your clothes closet, it will not eat your clothes as an adult. The clothes moth is only destructive during the larval stage.

 

However, spotting any clothes moths in your closet should be cause for alarm, because if the moths are there, most likely larvae are too or will follow soon. Check your clothes carefully. Using a clothes moth trap such as the Safer® Brand Clothes Moth Alert can warn you of a clothes moth infestation as well as trap the male moths, thus breaking the breeding cycle. Effective moth control begins with Safer® Brand's clothes moth trap.

 

So... What's a Clothes Moth?

The adult clothes moth is about 3/8" in length and has gold or shiny beige colored wings. The larvae are shiny, cream-colored and are about 1/2" in length. The eggs of the clothes moth are tiny and ivory or cream colored.

 

The clothes moth is only destructive during the larval stage. Clothing, upholstery, curtains and other furnishings may be ruined by the holes created when the larvae feed.

 

In fact, just about anything made of natural fibers is potentially susceptible to damage by clothes moth larvae. Adult moths or "millers" do not cause any destruction.

 

 

 

 

Reproduction Patterns of Clothes Moths

Within just three weeks after emerging from pupating, adult female moths deposit their eggs on soiled or unlaundered clothes so the hatching larvae will have nourishment immediately.

 

The female fastens the eggs to the material with a glue-like substance that is hard to remove. It is at this point that the female and the male moth die.

 

After the larve emerge from the eggs, they may build a tunnel-like structure from which they reach out to feed on the soiled material. After feeding for two months or more, they will spin a cocoon to pupate.

 

After pupating for about 2-3 weeks, the clothing moth emerges as an adult ready to mate and the cycle continues. The number of generations vary with the climate and environment, but it may be continual under ideal conditions.

 

 

 

 

Clothes Moth's Habitat

Clothing moths prefer moist areas since they do not consume water. They receive moisture from the clothing they eat. Dirty clothes offer the moth moisture in the form of human sweat or stains that are on the clothes.

 

In addition, moths can manufacture a protein from the clothing fibers into nourishment.  Clothing moths are therefore usually found in old clothing and blankets in attics or basements. They may be found under older natural fiber rugs where they can hide while they feast on the rug. Using a product such as the Safer® Brand Clothes Moth Alert is the number one way to determine if you have a Moth problem and will trap the male moths, thus breaking the breeding cycle.

 

 

 

 

Natural & Organic Controls

What?

Moth Pheromone traps such as Safer® Brand Clothes Moth Alert can help in controlling clothes moths.

 

How?

Safer® Brand Clothes Moth Alert traps can be used to alert you to moth problems and to monitor the level of infestation. Male meal moths are attracted to the pheromone and enter the trap where it is caught and cannot escape.

 

Safer® Brand Clothes Moth Alert trap

The Safer® Brand Clothes Moth Alert should be placed in a clothes closet or area containing upholstery. Carefully read and follow all instructions completely for safe and effective use.

 

When?

At the first sign of an infestation, place a Safer® Brand Clothes Moth Alert in the home to monitor the level of infestation. Continuous monitoring is extremely important when you have a moth infestation to check the degree of infestation.

 

Why Choose a Natural Solution?

Natural solutions break down quickly to their natural elements. They are preferable to chemical pesticides that leave residuals where they are sprayed causing long-term detrimental affects on the environment.

 

 

 

Environmental Controls

What?

Clean clothes, the vacuum, tight fitting storage containers, extreme heat, and freezing temperatures are all methods that can be used to control clothes moths.
 

How?

Take clothes to the dry cleaners to have the dirt and prespiration removed. Vacuum carpets, rugs, upholstery, baseboards and any other areas that may contain clothes moths. The lids of containers used to store clothing or fabric materials should fit very tightly so the tiny hatchlings cannot crawl inside.
 
Extreme heat can kill clothes moths if the temperature is high enough -- something that may be accomplished by washing clothes above 120 degrees F. or placing them in a hot attic for about 30 minutes.
 
On the opposite end, freezing may also kill the clothing moth if the temperature is below 18 degrees F. and the material is kept at that temperature for several days. Note: If you are freezing woolen materials, be sure to remove as much air from the plastic freezer bag as possible.
 

When?

Take clothes to the dry cleaners to have the dirt and perspiration removed when they become soiled or dirty. Vacuum carpets, rugs, upholstery, baseboards and any other areas on a regular basis, especially if you have noticed symptoms of an infestation.
 
When placing clothing and other materials in a container, carefully inspect the lid and the container -- the lid should fit very tightly so the tiny hatchlings cannot crawl inside - this should be done each time you are storing fabric materials, particularly woolen clothing and upholstery.
 
Extreme heat or freezing can be applied when you find larvae, eggs, or fecal matter on clothing or fabrics.

 

 

 

Images courtesy of Oklahoma State University and Forestry Images.
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