Adult clothes moths are golden in colour and their wings are fringed with golden hairs.
They are small moths, between 10mm and 20mm long with a wingspan of about 15mm.
The larvae are shiny, creamy white in colour and have a brown head.
The larvae leave distinctive webbing (like cobwebs) behind on the fabric as they move around, as well as eating holes in clothing.
The Webbing Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella) is more commonly known as the common clothes moth. The moth species is well known for making holes on clothing and natural fibres, as the larvae feed on keratin which can be found in fabrics such as wool and silk. The moths are particularly attracted to clothing with moisture on e.g. clothing that is dirty, sweaty or damp - as the larvae needs this moisture to stay hydrated.
Unlike other household moths, clothes moths are not drawn to light, instead they prefer dark or shaded areas, which means they can usually be found in the corners of rooms or under long-standing furniture. Rugs can be of particular interest to them as the larvae can crawl underneath and cause damage from there. The clothes moth can also crawl under skirting boards to feed on any debris that has gathered and then lay its eggs there.
Clothes moth eggs are under 1mm long so are very hard to spot. A female moth will carefully place her eggs in positions for best survival and will lay hundreds over her lifetime. This is usually in a places where keratin, the larvae’s primary food source, is present. The eggs are attached with a glue-like texture so can be quite difficult to remove. Once the eggs hatch into larvae they will immediately look for food. Once the larvae stage is complete and has developed, the clothes moth larvae pupate and after metamorphosis emerge as adult clothes moths.
Life Cycle of a Clothes Moth
The female Clothes Moth can lay up to 200 eggs at any one time. Once the eggs hatch into moth larvae they begin to feed. The clothes moth larvae will eat until they have sufficient energy to pupate. This usually takes 2 months; however, if food is scarce or temperature are low, then they can survive for up to 2 years before spinning a cocoon. The larvae will then stay in the cocoon for between 1 and 2 months before emerging as an adult.
Contrary to what people say adult clothes moths do not eat, the male clothes moth spends their time looking for females to mate with and the female moth looks for favourable conditions where she can lay her eggs. The adult clothes moth does not cause any damage to clothing, it is the larvae that are responsible for causing the damage to clothing as they are constantly looking for food.
Treating and preventing Clothes Moth Infestations
Treating an infestation of clothes moths can be relatively simple. Domestic treatments include cypermetherin based sprays, such as Pest Expert Formula 'C' Clothes Moth Killer Spray, which are highly effective against moths and other insects. It’s advisable to use these sprays liberally around the edges of carpets, wardrobes, furniture and other vulnerable areas where moths have been seen. This spray leaves a residue which will continue to work for up to 12 weeks, killing adult moths on contact and eggs as they hatch and become larvae.
Fumigation with Pest Expert Formula 'P' Foggers, Pest Expert Formula 'P' Super Fumerswill kill any adult clothes moths at higher levels and prevent any more eggs being laid.
Once the initial clothes moth treatment has been completed, Demi- Diamond Clothes Moth Trapscan be placed in the affected area and these will help monitor moth activity. If moths are being caught traps then it’s wise to complete 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.
Once the whole infestation has been eradicated good housekeeping, such as thorough vacuuming can help to prevent the infestation re-occurring. There are other ‘home remedies’ which can also be helpful, e.g. washing clothes at high temperatures or freezing any infested garments.
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 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!)
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.
Moth Traps, or Demi Diamond Moth Traps will trap Tineola Moths (Clothes/Carpet Moths). This pack size includes 3x Moth Traps & 10x Pheromone Lure pads enabling several months of moth trapping and detection around the home. The unique slow release pheromone 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 £7.98!! 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 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.