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COMMON CLOTHES MOTH

common clothes moth damage to carpetIdentification & Biology of common clothes moth:

 

  • Adult 6-8mm long
  • Forewings are shiny golden in colour

 

 

 

Common clothes moths go through complete metamorphosis: egg, larvae (crawling stage), pupae (cocoon) and adult (moth). The female moth lays approximately 50 eggs to a suitable material the larvae can feed upon, she will then die. Eggs will hatch within 10 days in warm weather and reach adulthood in just over a month. The larvae have dark heads and white bodies. They commonly spin themselves a silken case and attach frass (excrement, material fibres, dust, etc.) and will then lie inside feeding upon the protein (keratin) found.

Where common clothes moths live & how they affect you:

The common clothes moth has been long associated with destroying expensive garments but is equally adept at ruining carpets & furniture. It is the larvae stage that causes this damage. They prefer dark places & avoid the light. The adults are active creatures & can infiltrate surprisingly narrow cracks with the males being able to fly considerable distances. Females are weak fliers & will instead run or hop.

Control measures for common clothes moths:

An important factor in dealing with the common 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.