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How to Get Rid of Clothes Moths - EHS Pest Control Services

Clothes Moth - Tineola bisselliella

Clothes Moth TreatmentThe webbing clothes moth is the most common fabric infesting moth we encounter. The adult moths are 1/4 inch long and golden buff or yellowish grey with a satiny sheen. The hairs on its head are upright and reddish. The larvae are pearly white and 3/8 inch long. Adult females lay up to 200 eggs. Incubation takes from three days to three weeks or longer. The larval and pupal stages combined may take 45 days to a year to complete. Adult male moths fly more often than females, but both can fly considerable distances and can move from building to building in close urban environments in favorable weather.

Procedure - The most important factor in managing these pests is finding the source(s). Careful inspection of all animal based textiles and fibers is critical. Clothes moth larvae will attack clothing, carpets, furs, blankets, upholstery, pet hair, brush bristles and a myriad of other items. They will also feed on synthetic fabrics and fabrics from botanical sources if they are mixed with wool. Removal of animal nests is required. Fabric damaging pests will sometimes move into abandoned nests from birds, rodents, bats, bees and wasps as well as the carcasses of dead animals. Control and prevention consists of vacuuming to remove all organic debris from cracks and crevices. Organic fabrics must be dry cleaned thoroughly before being stored in tightly closed containers. An EHS service program requires multiple inspections and/or applications of an adulticide and IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) in areas these insects live and breed.

FYI - Clothes moth problems in multi-unit buildings require an initial inspection of the focus unit and all surrounding units.  This is very important since these flying pests will migrate from the original source.