Moths

The Moth is an insect that is related to the butterfly and they are both in the order of Lepidoptera. There are many types of Moths that pose particular problems in our homes which include the Common Clothes Moth, the Case Bearing Clothes Moth & the Brown House Moth.

The Clothes Moth

This is a small Moth which varies between 4-7mm in size with pale straw coloured forewings with no pattern and is common throughout Britain and most of the world, with the exception of the tropics. This Moth is reasonably cold-hardy and associated with many natural products of animal origin, especially woven fibres, fur and feather products and fertilisers. Despite these food preferences, the Clothes Moth is not a frequent inhabitant of birds’ nests.

The Case Bearing Clothes Moth

This species is similar in appearance to the common clothes moth, with the larvae feeding on particles of woollen clothing, furniture fillings, furs and carpets. The larvae spin a silken case around themselves, this case is carried around when the Moths larvae move (hence the name) and the damage is solely caused by the larvae feeding. The case is off white in colour and is approximately 5mm long. Control of this Moth is similar to that of the Clothes Moth.

The Brown House Moth

The adult Brown House Moth can grow to a maximum of 8mm and has uniformly golden wings flecked with dark brown and black spots. It is common in the UK and feeds on dry animal protein, including feathers, hair and wool. Adult Moths lay eggs singly, scattered very near to a food source on which the Moth larvae will feed 2-4 weeks later (depending on the temperature). The larvae hatch and can take between 2-5 months to develop through to the pupal stage. The pupal stage is formed inside a tough silken cocoon and 2-8 weeks later the adult moth emerges. The adult Moths live between 1-4 weeks. Control is similar to that of the Clothes Moth.

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