Clothes Moths


cloth mothsColour: Golden
Family: Lepidoptera
Order: Tineidae

There are two types of clothes moths (case making and webbing) that can cause serious damage to materials of animal origin (e.g. feathers, wool, furs, mummified carcasses and piano felts etc) or to material of plant origin (e.g. tobacco, various herbs, seasonings and assorted plant-based drugs). Clothes moths have world-wide distribution and are found throughout bout Canada and America.

Identification

Case-making clothes moth adults measure up to 14 mm from wing tip to wing tip. Both wings are long and narrow. The body and wings are buff to golden in colour, with a brownish tinge, except for 3 dark spots on each wing. The larvae of this moth carries its silken case wherever it goes. Webbing clothes moth adults measure up to 12 mm from wing tip to wing tip. Both wings are long and narrow. Wings and body are uniformly buff/golden colour except for a tuft of reddish setae (hairs) on the top of the head.

Habitat

Adult moths are poor fliers, and avoid light. Silken tubes will be visible in the hidden portions of clothes (e.g. under collars), as well, holes in material may be present. In fur, the hairs may be clipped at their base, causing loose fur and exposed hide. Cases can also be found in a crack or crevice away from the infested materials.

Threats to You

Clothing moths will generally live in closets, feeding on fabrics.