Clothes Moths are smaller than a general house moth, with their bodies being roughly 7mm in length.
They have a wingspan of anywhere between 10-15mm.
They can be identified by their two-coloured wings - forewings are gold and hindwings are typically paler.
Unlike many moths, they are not attracted to light. So, they typically harbour in areas with low light.
Tinea Pellionella or the Case-bearing Clothes Moth are predominantly found in warmer climates during the summer and late autumn months. So, in the UK’s case this will be from June – September; however, with advancements in central heating, case-bearing clothes moths can now be seen all year-round, taking the seasonality out of their cycle.
Adult moths of this type are small and mottled brown in colour with small black spots across their forewings. They have a wingspan of 9-16mm and both the forewings and hindwings have a hairy fringe, making identification of this type of moth slightly easier.
Case-bearing clothes moth larvae feed on keratin in natural fibres primarily in the form of natural fibres such as wool, cashmere, silk, leather and fur. Once they have consumed these natural fibres as food, they make a portable case out of food debris in which they can grow and hide.
Life Cycle of a Clothes Moth
The female will lay around 40-50 eggs over the course of 4-7 days after mating, which will then hatch into the most destructive phase of the moth’s life: the larvae stage. The larvae of clothes moths feeds on everything from clothes to other household goods made from textiles. They are usually between 1cm to 1.5cm long but this can depend on the availability of food. The moth larvae drink by absorbing moisture from the atmosphere, so humid conditions are more favourable for them.
The clothes moth larvae can stay in this stage for as long as 3 months until conditions become favourable for them to begin the next stage – pupation into adult moths. The moths spin a cocoon to metamorphose into their adult form which can take as long as 19 days or as little on 9 depending on the conditions. This process leaves debris which looks similar to rice which can be the first noticeable sign of an infestation. The adult moth only has one purpose: reproduction. Once it has left the cocoon it will mate, lay its eggs then die within a period of 4-6 days.
Checking for a clothes moth infestation
Finding the 3 stages of the life cycle requires vigilance as clothes moths are small and favour dark conditions. Often you will notice damage before actually seeing any adult moths. It’s the larvae that causes this damage, through feeding on natural fibers in clothing and carpets. Commonly, clothes moths lay their eggs in dark places, so pay attention to corners of wardrobes, drawers, skirting boards and architraves. One simple way to identify your infestation is to look for discarded cases, there are few household pests that leave cases behind, so if you find these then it’s quite likely you have case-bearing clothes moths. Case-bearing clothes moths infestations can originate from bird’s nests, especially in unused chimneys, so when trying to identify the source of the infestation it’s useful to check any unused chimney shoots or attics.
Treatment and prevention of a clothes moth problem
Treating an infestation of clothes moths can be relatively simple. Domestic treatments include cypermetherin based sprays, which are lethal to moths and other insects. Pest Expert Formula 'C' Clothes Moth Killer Sprayis a fantastic product to treat the inside of wardrobes and drawers as well as applying to the edges of the room to protect carpets from damage - its residue is effective against moths, eggs and larvae for up to 12 weeks. Fumigating with Pest Expert Formula 'P' Foggers orSuper Fumerswill also help eradicate any adult clothes moths in the room.
Once an initial insecticidal treatment has been carried out, Demi-Diamond PheromoneClothes Moth Traps can be used to monitor moth activity and whether it is necessary to do a follow up treatment. To protect clothing in wardrobes and drawers it is also recommended to use Moth Killer Cassettes or Moth Killer Strips, which kill all life cycle stages for up to 6-months. To protect particularly sensitive or expensive items against moth damage, use Moth Proof Garment Bags.
After the infestation has been eradicated, good housekeeping, e.g. thorough vacuuming can help to prevent the infestation re-occurring. There are other ‘home remedies’ which can be helpful, e.g. washing clothes at very high temperatures (if appropriate) or freezing any infested clothes or fabrics.
Clothes Moth Killer Kits
Our Clothes Moth Killer Kits contain everything needed to eradicate a clothes moth infestation in the home and wardrobe. The professional grade insecticides are supplied by market leaders Pest Expert and are HSE-approved, them to be the most effective clothes moth killers available in the amateur market. Every single clothes moth kit has been designed with customers in mind, meaning application is simple and problem-free. They will be supplied with a step-by-step professional advice sheet, a safety mask and nitrile gloves.
Follow these simple steps to achieve complete Clothes Moth control:
1. Take children and/or pets out of the room prior to treatment. Cover or remove any fish tanks.
2. Empty wardrobes and drawers, inspecting clothing for signs of moth damage or webbing. Discard any heavily infested items and bag up items containing natural fibres to be dry cleaned or laundered on as high a temperature as possible according to the garment label.
3. Apply Formula C+ Moth Killer Spray to the internal panels of wardrobes and drawers. If you have woollen or wool mix carpets in the same room, we recommend that you also apply the spray to the edges of the room and under furniture. Once surfaces are dry to the touch you can replace all unaffected clothing, hanging the Moth Killer Cassettes in between garments in the wardrobe and lining drawers with Moth Killer Strips.
4. Next, place the Formula P+ Fogger in the centre of the room or within the wardrobe and push down firmly on the trigger to activate. Be sure to hold the canister away from you when activating as the gas is released under high pressure.
5. Leave the room and allow 2-3 hours for the gas to disperse and then upon returning, open any windows and doors for approx 30 minutes to ventilate thoroughly.
6. Install Clothes Moth Traps in the room to monitor activity. Fold the plastic holder into a toblerone shape, peel the backing strip off one of the pheromone pads and insert into the trap with the sticky side facing out. Each pheromone pad is effective for 4-6 weeks.
Our Standard Clothes Moth Killer Kit provides a combination of the very best clothes moth control products, perfect for the treatment of a clothes moth infestation in one double or two single wardrobes. Including clothes moth products from Pest Expert, this Kit contains everything you need to get rid of clothes moths and maintain control for up to 6 months! All our Clothes Moth Killer kits are supplied with a step-by-step advice sheet, to enable you to carry out a professional clothes moth treatment. For full details of this pack, please click on More Info.
The Intermediate Clothes Moth Killer Kit with products from Pest Expert has been designed to eliminate a clothes moth infestation affecting two rooms or double wardrobes, but is also ideal for those wishing to carry out a more intensive clothes moth treatment to one area. This Kit offers the same extensive range of high quality moth killing products as our Standard Kit but in greater quantities, providing everything you need to get rid of clothes moths fast and maintain long-term moth control. All our Clothes Moth Kits are the most comprehensive on the market, offering the best, professional-grade products available, to ensure complete clothes moth eradication. (Click on the 'more info' tab for full contents list and further details).
Our Advanced Clothes Moth Killer Kit is probably the most comprehensive on the market, containing the optimum combination of clothes moth products from market leaders Pest Expert to help you eradicate a widespread clothes moth infestation affecting several rooms or wardrobes and maintain long-term clothes moth control. This Kit provides 5Ltr of our best-selling Formula 'C' moth killing insecticide, allowing you to also treat bedroom carpets and safeguard them against moth damage. All our Clothes Moth Kits come are supplied with step-by-step instructions to enabling you to carry out a simple yet highly effective clothes moth treatment. For full details, please click on More Info. (INCLUDES FREE NEXT DAY DELIVERY!)
The Pest Expert Formula P Fogger is a moth killing fumigation device designed to control clothes moths and is an important part of any comprehensive clothes moth treatment. Safer than smoke bombs, it is ideal for use in wardrobes and rooms affected by a clothes moth infestation. (FROM JUST £5.65 IF BUYING MULTIPLES!)
Moth Traps, or Demi Diamond Moth Traps will trap Tineola Moths (Clothes/Carpet Moths). This pack size includes 3x Moth Traps & 10x Pheremone Lure pads enabling several months of moth trapping and detection around the home. The unique slow release pheremone is completely odourless and an excellent product for establishing the extent of a moth infestation. Moth Traps are also useful for detecting early signs of Clothes Moth activity. (DEMI DIAMOND MOTH PAD REFILLS, AVAILABLE 10 FOR ONLY £6.19!! CLICK ON 'MORE INFO' TO VIEW)
Pack of 10 replacement Pheromone Pads (Tineola species) for use with Demi Diamond Traps. These excellent moth pheromone traps attract clothes moths and will therefore help you both detect moth activity and monitor activity after treatment to ensure your moth infestation has been eradicated.
Pest Expert Clothes Moth Killer Cassettes offer outstanding, long-lasting clothes moth protection, keeping clothing free from moth damage for up to 6 months. Odourless and non-staining, each twinpack protects a standard wardrobe for up to 6 months!
These Clothes Moth Killer Strips from Pest Expert are a highly effective moth control product, providing outstanding moth protection to your wardrobes and drawers over a 6 month period. Contain transfluthrin which kills clothes moths, eggs and larvae. Pack of 10 individual moth killer papers.
These unique Moth Proof Storage Bags protect clothing and blankets from clothes moths. These clever bags are impregnated with a moth repellent which is effective for up to 3 months and have a very light, fresh lavender fragrance making them perfect for both ladies and men's wardrobes. Foil-packed for extra freshness. (FROM ONLY £3.69 per pack WHEN BUYING MULTIPLES!)
Pest Expert Formula 'C' is a fast-acting clothes moth killer spray that kills clothes moths on contact and leaves behind an insecticidal residue that is effective for up to 12 weeks, offering long-lasting clothes moth control. (FROM JUST £24.95 WHEN BUYING MUTIPLES!).
Rentokil Insectrol is a highly effective insecticidal moth killer spray. Designed to be used as a space spray this is an excellent product to form part of a comprehensive treatment for carpet moth infestation.
Protective Coveralls provide excellent protection to clothing and skin when applying insecticides. They will also protect you from contact with insects, thereby avoiding insect bites and possible transfer of insects on the clothing to other areas. Highly recommended when treating moth infestations.