Carpet Moth Facts!
- Clothes moths go through four distinct lifecycle periods with significant change at each stage. Eggs which hatch in 4-10 days. Larva which can stay in this stage for 2-30 months! Cocoon which lasts 8-10 days. Then the Adult moth which lives 75-80 days.
- The beginning of the Clothes moth lifecycle – adult female moths can lay 100-400 eggs over their short life and these eggs are tiny, typically 0.5mm in length. The eggs hatch from between 4 and 10 days depending on temperature and humidity.
- The eggs hatch as carpets moth larvae – this is the destructive stage. The larvae are typically a few millimetres long upon hatching but then grow to 1-1.5cm in length, dependent on availability of food (the larvae feed on animal skin, bird nests, fur, clothing, carpets, and upholstery made of natural fibres or animal skin.) and moisture to help intake of water.
- Moths cannot ‘drink’ in a conventional sense and hence require humidity. Therefore, residual perspiration or food and drink stains on clothing and rugs/carpets attract moths.
- When the temperatures are right and the larvae have reached the right size, they then start the pupation stage where they spin a cocoon in which they metamorphose into the adult moth. This remarkable natural process typically takes 8 to 10 days. You may find the ‘debris from this stage in the form of used webbing cases from which the webbing clothes moth takes its common name.
- The final part of the life cycle occurs when the adult clothes moth measuring about 1-1.5cm emerges from the cocoon. Their wingspan is typically 14-18 mm. Whilst relatively harmless, the issue and risk to property is clearly the risk of further egg laying and the infestation getting out of land, hence the need to deal with both adult and larvae stages of the carpet moth lifecycle in treatment routines.