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The Mysteries of Moths

Moth Damage more detail

How to prevent Moth damage

More useful information on Clothes Moths
Dry Cleaning and Laundering can help.

Dry cleaning or laundering items in hot water (temperature above 120°F ( for 30 minutes) kills all stages of insects. This is the most common and effective method for controlling clothes moths in clothing, blankets, and other  articles. (Because many woolen garments should not be washed in hot water, dry cleaning may be the only suitable cleaning option.) Keeping fabrics clean also has another advantage: insects are less likely to feed on clean fabrics than on heavily soiled ones.

Clothes moths are weak flyers and are not attracted to lights. They tend to hide when disturbed, and for this reason, infestations of clothes moths are not usually noticed until damaged fabrics, furs, or feathers are found. Close examination of the objects reveals the presence of silken webs that are spun by the larvae.

  • Suggestion 1: Keep your house clean. Vacuum under furniture, along baseboards, in closets and around vents and draperies. Get rid of full vacuum cleaner bags promptly, as they may contain eggs, larvae or adult insects.
  • Suggestion 2: Store out-of-season clothes properly. Dry-clean or wash them in hot water (above 120 degrees F for 30 minutes) before storing.  Store clothes in an airtight container.
  • Suggestion 3: Place mothballs in airtight containers, and include a layer of paper to keep clothing from coming in contact with the insecticides.
  • You should Know :Clothing moths are not attracted to light.
  • You should know: Clothing moths flutter close by the area of infestation.
  • The chemicals in mothballs can cause skin, throat and eye irritation, and are toxic if swallowed or inhaled.

Clothes moths larva (caterpillar) stage damages items of animal origin, such as wool, fur, silk and feathers. The adult moths do not feed. They are rarely seen because they tend to hide in the dark during daylight. The Indian meal moth, a common "pantry pest," flies about during daylight and is often mistaken for one of these moths.

  1. Thoroughly clean garments before storage. Clothes moths are attracted to articles soiled by food, beverages, perspiration and urine, rather than the clean wool itself. For furs, professional cleaning and cold storage is recommended.
  2. Store articles properly. Place clean articles in tight storage containers. Good plastic bags (without holes) sealed after the clean item is placed inside should prevent clothes moth infestation as long as the bag remains without punctures or tears. Use storage containers with tight fitting lids and seal storage containers or cartons with a good quality tape. If garments are completely clean when placed in sealed containers, they should be safe from clothes moths. Note: Cedar chests are good pest-proof containers primarily because of their tight construction, and not the fact that they may release cedar.

For life cycles and more detail see links below:

Useful Links on Moth Damage:


Univ. of Kentucky

Univ. of California