Clothes Moths Making Holes in Clothing

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What winter projects did you accomplish this weekend? Put up the Christmas tree? Decorate the home? Bake cookies? Switch your closet into winter clothes?

With cooler temperatures, there is nothing like a sweater! But wait, in the middle of your favorite sweater ... a hole! Could it be moths? While the age of synthetic fabrics have made moth damage less common, the trend towards traditional fabrics such as wool means that the damage could be from moths. There are two common types of moths that damage clothing and fabrics, the casemaking clothes moth and the webbing cloths moth. It really doesn’t matter which type of moth you have, you must know that you need to get them under control and save your clothing.

Casemaking Clothes Moth

The casemaking cloths moth is named for the silken case spun by the larvae. This entire larval unit moves as the larva moves. The casemaking clothes moth prefers warmer climates; however, with the comfort of heated rooms, the moth does well in most climates indoors. The casemaking clothes moth adult is tan to light brown and can be up to one half inch long. There may be three darker spots on the wings. They prefer materials of animal origin but will feed on plant items such as herbs, food items, and natural fibers such as rope. Damaged materials appear that the fibers were scraped away from the cloth so that there is appearance that the material is threadbare.

Webbing Clothes Moth

The webbing clothes moth is the most common clothes moth found domestically. Adults appear similar to casemaking clothes moths, but have no spots on the wings. Webbing clothes moth adults also have a tuft of red hairs on the top of the head. While most homeowners will never be this close to an adult moth to compare hairs, if specimens are found, you might be able to see the red hairs. The webbing clothes moth spins a web that can appear to be a flat silken small mat. The moth larvae feed on materials of animal origin including furs, woolens, feathers, and even in food products such as dried milk. This pest is most devastating to furs as they will cut off the hairs of the fur at the hide level leaving “blotches” or patches of missing fur. This type of pest is the reason that many furs are held in storage in the off season.

Preventative moth tips:

  • Vacuum carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture regularly to eliminate any moth or beetle eggs or larvae.
  • Clean and vacuum pet beds often. Also maintain any areas where pets spend a lot of time. When pet hair accumulates the risk of carpet beetles or clothes moths increases.
  • Launder all clothing items before storing them away for the season. The cleaner the clothing, the better. Larvae prefers organic debris and bodily oils.
  • Store clothing in clear storage tubs in cool areas. Vacuum storage containers, drawers, shelves and any other places you plan to store your belongings, especially if you have seen spider webs in these areas before.

How to Control Clothes Moths

If you see suspicious holes in fabrics or if you see webbing in clothing, contact Thomas Pest Services for a thorough inspection. After an inspection of closets, storage areas, and the fabric, Thomas Pest Services will be able to tell you whether it appears that you have an infestation. If you do have an infestation, Thomas Pest Services trained professionals are equipped to track the source using extensive inspections and even lures to find the source. Then a targeted treatment can be done using products directed only at the infested area.

Contact Thomas Pest Services today for more information and to schedule your free inspection. Thomas Pest Services is your local Clifton Park exterminator. Thomas Pest Services also provides pest control services to Schenectady, Clifton Park, East Greenbush and surrounding towns! Protect your health, home, family and property with pest removal, contact us via phone at 1-877-518-2847, via web inquiry, Facebook or Twitter!


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