Clothes Moths

Tineidae

  • SIZE

    1/4in long, 3/8in wingspan

  • COLOR

  • BITE OR STING

    No

  • WINGS

    Yes

Top-view illustration of a clothes moth.
Side-view illustration of a clothes moth.
Close up view of a moth crawling on some fabric.

General Information

The larvae of clothes moths feed on cloth fibers, leaving small holes in your fabrics. Their favorite meals include animal-based fibers like silk, wool, cashmere, angora, and fur. Help safeguard your family’s clothes from these fabric-feasting pests with easy tips for how to banish moths in the closet.

  • Clothes moths are sometimes called closet moths or wool moths.

  • Unlike most moths, clothes moths are not attracted to light.

  • They are very weak fliers, so they are more commonly seen crawling across garments and the other items they infest.

  • A female may deposit 100 to 300 moth eggs. The eggs take 1 to 2 weeks to hatch into the larval stage during the summer or in a heated room.1

  • It is the moth larvae, not the adult moths, that eat and destroy fabrics.

  • Moth larvae produce visible silk casings or webbing as they feed.

Details

  • Clothes moths will infest clothing and other stored fabrics that are made of any natural fibers or fiber blends.

  • They are most commonly found in closets, dresser drawers, attics, basements, and other areas where garments are stored.

  • Clothes moths come inside to feed on fabrics that are made of silk, wool, cashmere, angora, and fur.

  • Clothes moths will feed on cloth fibers and leave small holes in your fabrics.

  • Keep clothes brushed and cleaned, especially items that will be stored for any length of time.

  • Clean fabrics stained with food or perspiration before storing them because these items are attacked by clothes moths most often.

  • Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove woolen lint or hair from floors, shelves, and drawers.

  • Clothing bags, cedar closets, and cedar chests provide protection only when stored materials are air-tight and free from infestation before storage begins.

  • Look for clothes moths in the folds of your clothing as well as dark corners of the closet.

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