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CASE BEARING CLOTHES MOTH

Identification & Biology of case bearing clothes moth:

 

  • Adult wingspan about 15mm
  • Has 3 dark spots on it wing
  • Males are smaller & lighter in colour than the females

 

 

The species is named from the larva that lives inside a case which it carries around. As a species it looks similar to the common clothes moth. Females live around 30 days & lay 100 to 300 eggs. The larvae case is up to 10mm long at maturity. The larvae pupate inside the case at 25oC. With a good diet, the life cycle can be completed in approximately seven weeks. The larvae will spin a silken case around themselves, often incorporating food particles. If the case is removed from the larva when it is nearing pupation, the larvae will die. Sometimes in a severe infestation, larvae may crawl up on a wall dragging their cases behind them.

Where case bearing clothes moths live & how they affect you:

The males are more active whereas the females are sluggish & fly only short distances. The larvae feed on particles of woollen clothing, soft furnishings, furs & carpets, primarily of animal origin, & imported goods such as hides, causing damage & making holes. The case bearing clothes moth is rarer than the common clothes moth.

Control measures for case bearing clothes moths:

An important factor in dealing with the case bearing clothes moth is sanitation; vacuuming to remove food sources, pet hair etc. which keeps the larvae well fed. Throw out the vacuum bag afterwards as a precautionary measure. Affected garments will need laundering & drying at a high temperature. Freezing affected items will also help. A good strong residual spray will destroy the larvae, applied to all floors, cracks & crevices & around all carpet edges. In some cases, if carpet is installed over a hardwood floor, between the floorboards where the larvae can hide this may also need treating. Follow up treatment will be necessary to ensure complete eradication of any egg stages. Dust insecticide can be used to treat larger cracks & crevices. Pheromone insect traps will help to monitor the situation & capture the adults.