While adult moths do not pose a health risk, their larvae can damage clothes, fabrics, furs, leather and carpets.
Although adults do not cause damage, the young immature stages of these insects feed on a wide variety of animal derived fibers including wool and silk. Materials that are soiled or have gotten dirty are preferred over those that have been cleaned. This is one reason why we recommend cleaning susceptible fabrics as a first step towards gaining control. Many times the larvae are overlooked until damage is severe which is one reason homeowners should pay attention if moths are seen flying, particularly in closets where these items are stored.
Visible damage to fabrics is usually the first sign of a moth problem, but there can be other clues:
Please note, another common cause of damage to carpets or fur may be due to Dermestid beetles like the varied carpet beetle rather than moths. Please refer to our guide to carpet beetles for further information.
There are two common species of moth infestation in the home:
• Webbing Clothes Moth - moth adults are ½ inch in length with straw-colored wings and no markings.
The moth larvae are creamy white with a brown head; they can be up to 1 inch long and make irregular holes in fabrics.
• Case-Bearing Clothes Moth - found particularly with imported animal fabrics, adult moths are around 6mm long with a dark-buff color and three faint spots. Moth larvae are creamy-white and up to 1 inch in length. They make more regular holes in fabric than Common Clothes Moth
Clothes Moths do not like light so are frequently attracted to darker areas which are usually undisturbed.
High risk areas include spare rooms, under beds and infrequently used cupboards or closets. Attics are also at risk because many homeowners store susceptible materials in boxes in their attics.
Dirty or soiled clothing is particularly attractive to moths, so always clean clothes before storing them and place them into sealed plastic bags if possible.
Regularly inspect hidden areas such as the portions of wool rugs that are hidden under furniture. This is particularly important if there has been a previous infestation or if you have noticed increased levels of moth activity. Even wool rugs that are vacuumed regularly get a certain amount of soil ground into them making them attractive to clothes moths
A range of DIY products that kill moths, their larvae and their eggs is available from stores. However, an established moth infestation may require professional pest control.
Although many homeowners struggle with do it yourself moth control remedies the results are often less than satisfactory. Small problems can develop into large ones and this is when many people seek out the services of a pest control professional.
Ehrlich technicians are skilled, experienced professionals – they are state certified, licensed applicators and are required to participate in regular training programs to maintain their expertise. They understand the habits of each species and use that knowledge when developing a control program for your home. They also have respect for you, your home, your family and your time.
At Ehrlich Pest Control, we pride ourselves on fast, responsive service every day. We are always available 24 hours a day for any emergency pest concerns that may develop and all appointments are scheduled at times that are convenient for you our customer.
If you would like further advice or to arrange a visit by an Ehrlich technician, call us free on