Brushing clothes and dry cleaning both help, but it’s nearly impossible to eliminate infestation entirely through such methods. The larvae spin long threads and construct tunnels of silk. The brown house moth, once the most common clothes-eating moth, would have been very familiar to Victorians. The Romans were probably responsible for the spread of pests to Europe as they expanded their empire – evidence of infestations of wool by clothes moths exists in Roman archaeological material. Flies on warm days, often with other species of moth and dingy skipper butterflies. These moths are small – only 5–8 mm long – and scuttle around, only flying when it’s warm. After using your vaccum cleaner always empty the contents into a black plastic bag. Flies during the day. Seal it up and dispose of it in an outside bin. When & where: Mainly May-October. Clothes moths are small, 1/2-inch moths that are beige or buff-colored. To improve security and online experience, please use a different browser or, Support our conservation in action appeal, Find out more about the Science behind our conservation, Discover the pests found in historic houses, https://www.youtube.com/user/EnglishHeritageFilm. References to clothes moths are speckled throughout the historical record. Description: A brownish moth with wavy crosslines on the forewings and orange-yellow on the hindwings. The moths are most active above 40 F, but lower temperatures will not necessarily kill them, it just slows them down. Its case is the color of the fabric on which the larva feeds. A clothes moth at rest is much easier to catch than an Indian meal moth. Concise Guide to the Moths of Great Britain... Colour Identification Guide to Caterpillars. The lifecycle lasts for about 65-90 days, with the female adult moths living for about 30 days and potentially laying up to 300 eggs. So they are less common in dry climates. Replace your clothes putting precious out of season items in moth proof breathable storage bags and repel adult moths from returning by using products with natural ingredients which repel clothes moths. Common across most of the UK. Clothes, furnishings, stored produce and dead animals such as birds and rodents all provide a ready source of food and can support an infestation. The larvae that hatch from the eggs do the damage, as the adult moths themselves, known as ‘millers’, pose no threat to your knitwear. Carpet Moths With sharp eyes or a bit of luck, you can even spy the more nocturnal species resting on bushes, trees, walls, or fences - especially if there's a light source close by. They have narrow wings that are fringed with small hairs. Less used corners of closets or drawers, fitted carpets under furniture that is rarely moved and wool rugs are particular favourite places for egg laying. The adult female clothes moth emits a pheromone which the male clothes moth can detect via his antennae. UKMoths is built, run and maintained by Ian Kimber, with thanks to the many kind contributors who provide photos and information. Farringdon Pantry Moths Many of the species listed below can be spotted across most of Britain and Ireland. Common Clothes Moth Tineola bisselliella (Hummel, 1823) Wingspan 9-16 mm. Throughout the UK, in woodland, parks, gardens and other places the foodplants (willows and poplars) are found. With around 2,500 species of moth in the UK, there's an amazing amount of diversity to be discovered! Clothes moths are often confused with Indian meal moths, but the two are actually very different, primarily in the materials on which they feed and the places they are found. Learn how to identify common garden butterflies. The body is about 1/4-inch long with wings folded and golden-yellow with a satiny sheen (see picture below). Unlike some other types of moths, clothes moths are seldom seen because they avoid light. The adults are typically encountered during summer and early autumn, but Case-bearing Clothes Moths that live in human dwellings may be seen all year-round. Understanding the lifecycle and behaviour of the clothes moth is the first step to understanding how to determine if you have an infestation, the severity of the infestation and how to deal with it. Cashmere Care Unit 4, Farringdon Industrial Estate For more detail on the clothes moth life cycle, see our page describing the full life cycle of the clothes moth. Flies on warm days. Whether it takes two months or two years, each larva will eventually spin a cocoon in which it will pupate and change into an adult Webbing Clothes Moth. 2. Total Wardrobe Care Make sure clothes are clean before storing them in vacuum bags or boxes with sealed tight lids. © 2020 Total Wardrobe Care. The newly emerged larvae are about 1mm long but grow up to 12mm. Larvae are a shiny, creamy white with a brown head, up to 1/2-inch long. When & where: April-October. Clothes moths are usually are carried into the home on infested articles that are placed near another feeding source, e.g., wool clothing. The adults of this small moth are about ½ inch long and their forewings are mottled brown with one large and a few smaller indistinct black spots. They are often mistaken for grain moths infesting stored food items in kitchens and pantries. Adult stage of the clothes moth. Seal them in plastic 'freezer' bags at -18°C for at least two weeks. Clothes Moth Larvae. As the adult webbing clothes moths mature, they will be less active and prefer dark, undisturbed areas and that is exactly the environment where they will lay their eggs - to be undisturbed and on the animal fibre based food source that will be needed by the larvae to survive after they hatch. There are plenty of things in our homes for clothes moth larvae to feast on. Indian meal moths are pantry pests while clothes moths—as their name indicates—feed on fabrics. The female clothes moth, the Tineola bisselliella, is busy laying miniscule eggs which are poised to hatch into destructive invaders and commence the downward slope of wardrobe disintegration. This is why it is so important to identify the species that you believe to be a problem. It feeds from both ends of the tube and uses it for shelter when disturbed. Caterpillars feed on bird's-foot trefoil. Remove and destroy any nest material found. Use this time wisely to get a handle on an infestation as part of a spring clean, wardrobe clean out and change over to spring season garments. In woodland, scrub, hedgerows and gardens. The Moth box attracts male clothes moths to a sticky board to monitor infestation levels. The case-bearing moth larvae eat keratin, similarly to webbing clothes moths, and found in animal based fabrics - clothing and home textiles including carpets and rugs. Clothes moths have been on the rampage in the UK, and especially in London, in the last few years. Identifying Clothes & Carpet Moths - Webbing Clothes Moth / Case-Bearing Clothes Moth. Flies from dusk and is attracted to light. But the common (or webbing) clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) is one of the most aggressive species and can be found across the world. The male seeks out the female by flying up the pheromone cloud and then mating occurs. The beginning of the Clothes moth lifecycle – adult female moths can lay 100-400 eggs over their short life and these eggs are tiny, typically 0.5mm in length. The common clothes moth, also called the Webbing Clothes moth, Tineola bisselliella, is surprisingly small in its adult form at 5 to 8 mm long. When clothes moths do fly, it is very fluttery. Discover more about the species of moth that can damage historic collections – and materials in your own home – and find out how you can prevent them. With around 2,500 species of moth in the UK, there's an amazing amount of diversity to be discovered! They shun light and hide in dark areas, laying batches of eggs on wool, fur, feathers and skins. They prefer dark, undisturbed areas such as closets, basements and attics. Olive green with pink-brown arrow-shaped markings. When & where: June-July. All rights reserved. Often seen resting on vegetation, walls and fences in the day. There are two main moth species that cause most of the damage to clothing and home textiles. Description: A large, variable moth. Easily identifiable with a golden colour and around half an inch in length. Each stage of the clothes moth lifecycle, egg, larvae and adult, require different methods. The adult moth is a buff or beige colour with a small patch of light red hair on the head. A variety of habitats, including sand dunes, heathlands and gardens. The most common clothes moths are the Webbing Clothes Moth, easily identified with a golden colour and around half an inch in length, and the Case-Bearing Moth, which can be identified about ½ inch long and their forewings are mottled brown with one large and a few smaller indistinct black spots.