What Causes Holes in Clothes? Moths, Carpet Beetles, and more!

Published Categorized as Moths

Have you ever reached into your closet to choose a beloved item of clothing when you saw it was riddled with tiny holes? There is no way you could have worn this item out to breakfast before those holes appeared. How annoying!

You’ll want to avoid having this occur again. What can you do and why are your clothes suddenly becoming damaged? To help you safeguard your best outfits, we’ll go over all you need to know about moths and other pest-caused holes in clothes.

What Causes Tiny Holes in Clothing?

The first step in dealing with this kind of issue is figuring out what is causing the small holes in your clothing. If you notice holes in your clothing, Clothes Moths are “suspect number one” in every region of the United States.

It’s interesting to note that mature moths aren’t the issue. The true harm will be done by their larvae. However, because the female moth may produce thousands of eggs, adult moths also shouldn’t be disregarded. Then, these eggs hatch and develop into ravenous, horrifying-looking worm-like larvae that eat keratin.

The protein known as keratin is present in fibers made from animals, including cashmere, silk, wool, and other fabrics. Enough said. If you have clothes moths, get rid of them immediately.

Your clothing should not require much maintenance. After all, cleaning, drying, and putting everything in your closet ought to be all that is required. But if you start to see little holes appearing in your clothing, something might not be right. You need to solve this puzzle as soon as possible. You must treat the infestation if bugs are to blame for the harm.

Identifying Who Is Causing the Holes in Clothes

Determine whether you have moths or other invasive insects if you’ve recently discovered small holes in your clothing. When it comes to holes in your clothing, moths are a leading suspect, especially if the clothing is composed of natural fibers like wool, silk, cashmere, and so on.

But there are several more pests to watch out for, like carpet beetles, cockroaches, and silverfish. Keeping this in mind, you should solve this mystery right away to limit further harm. Dead insects, stains from their excrement, cocoons or casings, and sticky material are all indicators of the presence of insects.

You must determine whether clothing items have moth holes or if the tears were caused by something else in order to protect your clothes and home. Since each insect deserves a separate course of action, an infestation,

Identifying pest-related holes will involve looking at your clothes and playing detective to find evidence of the invaders and identify their species. Here’s what to know.

Identifying Holes in Clothes Caused by Moths

The case-bearing clothes moth and webbing clothes moth are the most frequent offenders in your “case of the closet caper.” The following are signs of a clothes moth infestation:

  • Live moths fluttering in your home
  • Moth larvae casings (little cocoon-like cylinders)
  • Live moth larvae
  • Dead adult moths or larvae
  • Little holes in your clothes (or sometimes big ones)
  • Sticky substances on clothing

Identifying Adult Clothing Moths

Adult clothes moths are typically brown or brownish in color. They lack the huge wings that some moth species have. Instead, they are tiny, only being approximately a quarter of an inch long.

Their larvae resemble little worms and are brown or brownish in color. These wormy larvae typically have lighter, tan or yellowish bodies and black, brownish heads.

Visit our House Moth Identification guide for more information on the various types of moths!

Clothing Holes Caused by Other Bugs

In addition to moths, termites, cockroaches, and crickets can rip holes in clothing. These insects don’t specifically attack fabric. However, occasionally they will gnaw through filthy clothing. Consequently, be sure never to store dirty items in your closet. Here we will discuss the more popular insects; carpet beetles, silverfish, and firebrats.

Carpet Beetles

Similar to moths, adult carpet beetles don’t consume cloth. However, they feed their larvae on fabrics made of natural fibers. The insects prefer the texture of carpets and prefer to reside in dark crevices like air ducts, baseboards, and closets.

These insects frequently favor wet environments. Therefore, you may have an infestation if your closets are damp and your clothing has holes.

There are three different species of carpet beetles, and the only visual distinction between them is their color pattern.

  • Variegated carpet beetles: These 1/10-inch long beetles are solidly colored in black, white, brown, and yellow, or they are speckled with these colors. The bristles on the larvae are dark or black and have an oval or elongated shape.
  • Black carpet beetles: Adult Attagenus unicolor range in length from 1/8 to 3/16 inches and have full black bodies with yellowish legs. The color of the larvae can range from pale yellow to dark brown. The bodies of the larvae taper from the head to the tail.
  • Common carpet beetles: These beetles have scales that are black, white, red, and orange. They have reddish-brown, finely-haired larvae.

Silverfish and Firebrats

Both silverfish and firebrats can rip holes in garments and are closely related. Both insects have curved antennae and are long and slender. They also have shells that appear hard.

Both silverfish and firebrats have six small legs that extend from the thorax. Long antennae protrude from either side of their backs, and you’ll also note that their heads have a few little protrusions. Some people may think that these antennae resemble pincers.

As its name suggests, silverfish are silver in color. Firebrats, on the other hand, have striped shells that can be silver, gray, beige, or brown in color. The length of both species of insects ranges from a quarter to a half inch. They enjoy clothing that is starched, soiled, or made of materials like linen, cotton, and rayon.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What should you do if you find holes in clothes in your closet?

Prior to anything else, you must determine what kind of hole-causing insect you are dealing with. The removal of the infestation can then be done. You can try a variety of efficient removal methods if you have clothes moths. There are many options, including fumigation, moth-killing sprays, moth traps, and others. For 72 hours, place clothing in the freezer to kill any larvae or eggs. After that, use a water and vinegar solution to clean everything. Finally, place moth traps in locations where they are present and hang moth-deterrent sachets to prevent moths from returning.

Can you repair holes caused by moths?

Everything is dependent on the extent of the harm. It is sometimes possible to patch holes left by Clothes Moth Larvae by washing the damaged item and then sewing it back together. However, moth larvae frequently eat holes in woolen knit clothing, including sweaters. A knitted garment that develops a hole may begin to unravel. When something cannot be salvaged after being severely damaged, it could be best to throw it away.

By Travis Amos

My house is my castle, and there is no space for unwanted neighbors.

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