Webbing clothes moths are a type of stored product pest that feed on natural fibers and animal bi-products. They are a common pest that are found living throughout the United States. Their larvae are responsible for damaging items that include carpet, furs, clothing, and upholstered furniture.
The adult webbing clothes moths stand out against other species of clothes moths because of the distinct tuft of reddish scales found on the top of their head. Their narrow wings and body are a buff-gold color, and their hind wings are fringed with long hairs. Adult webbing clothes moths grow to be about ½ an inch from wing tip to wing tip.
The webbing clothes moth larvae are white with a brownish colored head; they grow to about ½ an inch in length.
Adult clothing moths emerge and are ready to mate immediately. Each female then deposits an average of 40-50 eggs over a 2-3 week period; she will attach the eggs singly or in groups by “gluing” them to a food source (fabric item).
During the summer when the weather is warmer, the eggs may hatch in 4 to 10 days, but it may take longer (3 weeks) in the winter. The larvae then spin a silken tube around them to protect them as they molt and feed. They will remain in the larval stage for 1 to 29 months. They then create another silken case that completely encases them to pupate; the pupal stage lasts from 8 to 44 days depending on the temperature (warmer weather equal a shorter amount of time required). New adults are then ready to emerge and mate.
Females live for about 3-16 days. Once they have laid all of their eggs, they will quickly die; males live a bit longer- for about a month.
The larvae of webbing clothes moths are what do the damage to fibers located in your home; they thrive in areas of high humidity and will generally live and feed in hidden areas like the inside of clothing, furniture, or underneath rugs. Webbing clothes moths feed on natural fibers including wool, fur, and hair. In the case of a large infestation, you may even notice them feeding on fabric items right out in the open.
Adult webbing clothes moths do not like bright lights. If they see light or are disturbed, they will scuttle quickly away into the darkness. Because of their aversion to light, they prefer to live in the dark quiet areas of homes like closets, basements, and attics.
Webbing clothes moths are not a health risk to people, nor do they bite or sting. They are, however, a dangerous pest to have living in your home because they will damage and destroy fabric items located within it.
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Once webbing clothes moths gain access to your home, they are very tricky to get rid of without professional help. Luckily, there are some things that you can do as a Missouri homeowner to help prevent problems with these pests.
First, make sure to thoroughly wash or dry clean items made from natural fibers before placing them into storage.
Second, when placing fabric items into storage, it is a good idea to place them in airtight garment bags, or if you have access to it- refrigeration storage. Lastly, make sure to regularly steam clean furniture and rugs in your home and routinely dust and vacuum to ensure that excess dander and pet hair are being removed on a regular basis.
The most effective way to control webbing clothes moths around your property and in your home is with the help of a professional pest control expert. At Rottler Lawn & Pest Solutions, a trained technician will inspect your home and find infested areas. We will then provide control services through our year-round home pest control services, including the use of spot treatments if it is determined necessary by our technician.