The Common Clothes Moth and simply “Clothing Moth” are other names for the Webbing Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella). This moth’s larvae are a major problem since they can eat wool and many other natural fibers from garments, as well as stored food, like most species that are related to them.
In this article, we will provide all the relevant information on the webbing clothes moth, how to identify them, and their life cycle, so that you know how to get rid of them!
About the Webbing Clothes Moth
The adults of the tiny webbing clothes moths, scientifically referred to as Tineola bisselliella, reach lengths of between 1 and 2 cm. Despite the fact that low humidity will only hinder development, this moth favors damp environments.
Most of their eggs are under 1 mm in length and are quite small. Throughout her lifetime, a female will lay several hundred clothes moth eggs, which are carefully positioned in areas where they will have the highest chance of surviving.
This species is well known for feeding on textiles and natural fibers; they have the capacity to convert keratin, a protein that makes up the majority of hair and wool, into food.
The moths favor filthy fabrics, and they are particularly drawn to carpets and clothing that has sweat or other liquids on it. Since the caterpillars of clothing moths do not drink water, their diet must have wetness in order for them to be drawn to these places rather than the food itself.
It can be challenging to remove the eggs because of the glue-like material that holds them in place. The moth larvae emerge from the eggs and start to feed. The clothing moth larvae pupate once their larval stage is over, and after undergoing metamorphosis, they emerge as adult moths.
Adult clothing moths do not feed; instead, male moths search for females to mate with, and females search for locations to lay their eggs. The adult clothing moths pass away after their reproductive cycle is through.
Adult moths don’t eat fabric or clothing, unlike what the majority of people think. The larvae of the clothes moth, which spend their entire life feeding and seeking for food, are the only ones to blame for harm to garments and carpets.
Both adult clothes moths and their larval stages favor dim lighting. Clothes Moths appear to favor dim or dark locations, in contrast to many other moths, which are drawn to light. Due to how simple it is for the larvae to burrow inside handmade rugs and cause harm from below, they are a particular favorite.
The larvae of clothes moths will also scurry under baseboards in search of dimly lit spaces where trash has amassed and, consequently, holds tasty food.
Webbing Clothes Moth Identification
Larvae of the webbing clothes moth are initially tiny and have a yellowish-white appearance. They expand over time, becoming brown or tan in hue. Larvae of the webbing clothes moth frequently have heads that are a shade or two darker than their bodies. The webbing clothes moth larvae should be approximately 14 inches long.
Adult webbing clothes moths reach up to 0.3 inches in length and have shiny golden scales on wings. Webbing clothes moth are one color and do have any spots.
Depending on the local weather, their moth larvae can take months or even longer to develop cocoons. These little cocoons have a tan hue to them. Usually, a web-like substance that is sticky will keep them on top. Remove cocoons before the moths may emerge to prevent further damage to your clothes or fabrics.
To learn more about the different types of moths in our House Moth Identification.
Webbing Clothes Moth Life Cycle
As soon as the egg hatches, the clothes moth larva will begin its search for food. The food that clothing moth larvae require may be acquired in two months, but in difficult circumstances, they may go for a very long time without eating.
Whether it takes two months or two years, every larva will finally spin a cocoon where it will pupate and grow into an adult webbing clothes moth. Prior to emerging as adults, the clothing moth larvae spend one to two months in these cocoons getting ready for mating and egg-laying.
Webbing clothing moth adults typically can lay 40–50 eggs, either singly or in clusters, after 15–30 days of maturation. In warmer months, eggs hatch in 4–10 days; in cooler months, they can take up to 30 days.
Depending on the quality of the food they eat, the temperature, and the humidity, larvae can mature in 35 days or 30 months. The infested materials will pupate. Depending on the temperature, adults will emerge from the pupae in 8 to 40 days.
Visit our Moth Life Cycle & Pantry Moth Life Cycle guides to learn more!
How to Get Rid of the Webbing Clothes Moth
The Webbing Clothes Moth’s eggs are so tiny that they are essentially invisible to the human eye. As a result, they are easily hidden in furniture cracks and affixed to difficult-to-see surfaces using a sticky, glue-like substance. It’s crucial to treat any used objects you purchase before taking them inside your home to avoid infestations.
Start with prevention when attempting to eradicate webbing clothes moths. Always be “moth conscious” and look for moth damage (or eggs) before bringing worn furniture or clothing into your home. In order to destroy any hidden eggs, freeze clothing or decorative items for 72 hours if you detect a clothes moth infestation.
Remove all things made of fabric that have been infected by Webbing Clothes Moths from your home and freeze, wash, or professionally dry clean them. After that, carefully clean the contaminated area. It can be a good idea to vacuum while using moth-killing powder and spray.
Additionally, you can utilize the items in moth killer kits to get rid of these pests at every stage of development. To stop a reoccurring infestation, use moth-repellent sachets and clothes moth traps after removing any adult moths, larvae, and eggs. Cedar shelves might also prevent these moths from settling in your closet.
Learn more about How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths, How to Get Rid of Carpet Moths, and How to Get Rid of Clothes Moths in our guides!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I get rid of webbing clothes moth?
Start with prevention when attempting to eradicate webbing clothes moths. Always be “moth conscious” and look for moth damage (or eggs) before bringing worn furniture or clothing into your home. In order to destroy any hidden eggs, freeze clothing or decorative items for 72 hours if you detect an infestation. Remove all things made of fabric that have been infected by webbing clothes moths from your home and freeze, wash, or dry clean them. After that, carefully clean the contaminated area. It can be a good idea to vacuum while using moth-killing powder and spray.
Where are webbing clothes moth found?
Webbing clothes moths are typically located in quiet, dark places of dressers, furniture, and closets. They have the ability to turn keratin, a protein that makes up the majority of hair and wool, into food. This moth species is well recognized for feeding on textiles and natural fibers.
Are webbing clothes moths attracted to light?
No, the feeble flyers that are clothes moths are not attracted to light. Instead, clothes moths are typically found in quiet and dark places away from the light.