Moths are definitely one of the most common household and garden pests. They are often found in your pantry, closet, and cabinet especially if there are food containers or natural fabrics around that area.
Several conditions could attract moths that could ultimately lead to a moth infestation. They include; humid conditions; soiled clothes or clothes left unwashed; damp murky cupboards or cabinets, a pantry that is left open often, rotting foodstuff like a banana peel.
Signs of a moth infestation include; small holes in clothes, discoloring of garments, spongy web-like netting at corners of grills, racks, and wardrobes; stinking clothes closets and a couple of moths flying around. Moths that are in your house usually stay hidden in cracks and crevices which makes them difficult to get rid of.
The first step in getting rid of house moths is finding their hideouts and sealing them. Use silicone caulk to fill out any gaps and cracks that are probable sites for them to hide. Vinegar is an excellent repellent for insects and pests. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water.
Use this solution to wipe off the shelves. It will kill the eggs and reduce further infestation. Vinegar also keeps moths away from the house. Make sure you do not spray it directly on fabrics as it may leave a stain on them.
Whether the moth infestation is in your pantry or your closet, this home remedy is sure to work and help you get rid of the moths. Place cinnamon sticks in your closet around your clothes, in the drawers and on pantry cabinet shelves. The strong odor will keep moths and other bugs away from your home.
Indian lilac, also known as neem, can be used in many ways to get rid of moth infestation around your home. You can get fresh neem leaves, spread a handful of them in corners of your pantry to repel moths. You may also use neem oil to keep the moth away from your clothes. Simply, dilute the oil with water and spray it in your closet. Another way to use the powerful insecticide is to sprinkle its dry powder, which is readily available in local stores, around your home.
Moths do not like the smell of cedarwood and hence gets repelled by it.Those that are going to hatch out within a week or two are often laid on a leaf, some on the upper side of the leaf and some on the underside and they may be laid singly, in pairs or in a large batch depending on the species. A few species drop their eggs into grasses when in flight. Many species that overwinter as eggs lay them on the trunk, branch or twig of a tree and often close to a bud. Examples of the eggs of twelve butterfly species are shown below.
Examples of the eggs of eighteen moth species are shown below. Several of these are quite fragile such as the top left egg which is soft and rather like a small blob of jelly. The true legs are segmented with joints and become the walking legs in the adult butterfly or moth. In most cases the number of prolegs varies from 2 to 5 but some leaf-mining caterpillars and Limacodidae species have none and some Zygaenoidea have more than 5 pairs.
The number of prolegs and their size is often helpful in determining which family or families the caterpillar is likely to be part of and hence can help in identifying which species it is, examples from a few families can be found below.
As a caterpillar grows in size it becomes too large for its skin which it sheds, typically 4 times, before it changes into a chrysalis. In some cases the number of prolegs which are visible increases as the caterpillar grows and changes its skin.
One method that can be used to start the identification process is to try and work out which family grouping the caterpillar belongs to. The following gives some pointers to help decide which of the main family groups a caterpillar belongs to. The order in which the families are listed below is not taxonomic but is my own suggestion for working through some of the key identifying characteristics.
This starts with caterpillars that only have two pairs of functional prolegs, then three pairs followed by the groups which, apart from a small number of exceptions, have five pairs of prolegs.
In the following examples I have also included pictures of the caterpillars that enthusiasts in the UK are most often asked to identify. NOTE: If you want to see the life history that has been recorded so far for any of the species listed below, click on the scientific name and it will appear on a separate frame. Family: Geometridae This is a large family with around species either resident or regular migrants to the UK. Virtually all these species have only two pairs of prolegs, being without those on abdominal segments A3, A4 and A5.
The absence of these three pairs of prolegs results in them moving by a looping process of arching and straightening the body - hence they are often called 'loopers'. The photograph of a Pale Brindled Beauty Apocheima pilosaria caterpillar is shown below. I am aware of a few species which are classified as Geometers which 'break the rule'.
Family: Nolidae This is a small family with only 4 species resident in the UK and another an occasional migrant. The caterpillars of these 5 species are all missing a pair of prolegs on abdominal segment A3 and thus only have 4 pairs of prolegs. The picture below shows an example of the Least Black Arches Nola confusalis. Family: Drepanidae There are six species in this family which are found in the UK.
All have their anal claspers modified into a raised point and are therefore relatively easy to identify. Family: Notodontidae In this family there are 22 species resident in the UK and a few other occasional migrants. A few species are fairly hairy such as the Buff and Chocolate-tips.
The Buff-tip Phalera bucephala larvae are gregarious until their final instar and their presence is often noticed because they strip braches of all their leaves. The Chocolate-tip Clostera curtula larvae are seen less frequently.They may not sting or bite, but moths can certainly interfere with your outdoor evening enjoyment as they fly around lights and bump into windows.
Even if you aren't bothered by these nocturnal fliers, their caterpillars can wreak havoc in your yard and garden, defoliating trees and destroying fruit, vegetable and ornamental plants. Reclaim control of your outdoor space by reducing or eliminating the sources that attract moths. While there is no answer as to why the phenomenon occurs, moths are attracted to light.
They fly close, then endlessly spiral around outdoor lights. Moths, unlike humans, see light at the ultraviolet or blue-violet end of the spectrum. Getting rid of moths outdoors can be as simple as turning off your outdoor lights or replacing outdoor fluorescent and incandescent bulbs with yellow, orange or red bulbs. Close curtains or blinds at night to block indoor light from attracting moths to your windows and screens. Moths feed on nectar and other sweet fluids.
If you have a fruit tree, clean up fallen fruit around your yard as the sweet smell attracts moths. Like bees and butterflies, moths are flower pollinators. You may unintentionally be inviting moths to your yard with your flower choices. Plants with clustered, dull or white colored flowers that open in the afternoon or at night and have deep nectar sources are favorites of moths. Plants such as evening primrose Oenothera spp. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 7; moon flower Ipomoea albawhich grows in USDA zones 10 through 12; yucca Yucca filamentosa which grows in USDA zones 5 through 10; and flowering tobacco Nicotania spp.
Moths have some efficient nighttime predators. Bats eat hundreds of nocturnal bugs, including moths, during their nighttime flights. Attract bats to your yard to help get rid of pest moths by building or buying a bat house. Install the shelter in a sunny location, 15 to 30 feet above the ground to protect roosting bats from predators such as snakes and raccoons.
To reduce moth populations in your yard, get rid of their caterpillars early, before they mature into adult moths. Remove small caterpillar infestations by hand and drop them into a bucket of soapy water. For larger infestations, Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria target the gut of caterpillars, preventing them from eating and maturing into moth pests.
The bacteria are available at garden centers and are safe for plants and wildlife. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for mixing and applying the bacteria. As an example, mix 1 tablespoon of concentrated Bt with 1 gallon of water in a garden sprayer.
Spray both sides of leaves where caterpillars are present, shaking the sprayer frequently to keep the solution well-mixed. Wear protective eyewear and clothing, and avoiding breathing in the vapor. Apply another dose of Bt after heavy rain or after seven days, if necessary.
Jean Godawa is a science educator and writer. She has been writing science-related articles for print and online publications for more than 15 years. Godawa holds a degree in biology and environmental science with a focus on entomology from the University of Toronto.
She has conducted field research in the tropical rainforests of southeastern Asia and South America. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Close-up of moth on plant. Woman turning off light switch.
Close-up of peaches growing on a tree branch. Bat hanging upside-down.Moths don't bite, buzz, or sting — but discover wriggling larvae in your cereal or chewed holes in your cashmere sweaters and it's clear that a moth infestation is nothing short of super frustrating.
Eliminate these fluttering pests from your home by following these easy steps. Homeowners usually come into contact with one of two types of moths: pantry moths and clothes moths. Just like their categories imply, these insects go after different food sources in different parts of the house.
The pantry variety can include species like the Indian meal moth but most go after grains and dry goods: cereals, crackers, rice, and other stored foods, according to Orkin entomologist Chelle Hartzer. You might notice icky webbing or tiny caterpillars inside your snacksa not-so-pleasant gift from the pupae and larvae.
Clothes moths naturally like closets and wardrobes, with the caterpillars relying on natural fibers like linen, wool, silk, or fur for sustenance. Besides holes, these pests can also leave behind shed pupae skins, webbing, and frass, insect excrement that looks like large grains of sand, according to pest management brand Woodstream. The first step in stopping a moth infestation is getting out the trash bags. Throw out any potentially contaminated food and get it out of the house.
If you're dealing with clothes moths, start making a laundry pile. Wash what you can with hot water and detergent, then dry on low heat to kill larvae, advises Carolyn ForteDirector of the Cleaning Products and Textiles Labs at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Dry cleaning can also debug garments. In both the kitchen and the closet, vacuum everything : the carpet, walls, baseboards Then throw out the vacuum bag right away as it may contain eggs. Finally, scrub shelves and walls thoroughly. Call in a professional if you can't identify the source of the problem.
A pest control operator can also help with widespread infestations or hard-to-clean items ike moth-infested furniture or rugs. Your grandma's favorite method is on the outs now that many experts consider the chemicals — naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene — a health risk.
California already considers the pesticides known carcinogens, and the European Union has banned naphthalene. Play it safe and deter clothes moths other ways, Forte advises.
Seal seasonal clothing in airtight bags; the vacuum-sealed variety are a good bet. While you can try the natural repellent cedardon't rely on it as a quick fix or lasting remedy. The wood's oils may prevent infestations by harming small larvae, but it won't clean up existing ones and the effect loses potency after a few years. In the pantry, stash foods in airtight containers.
This has the bonus effect of deterring moisture-loving mold and other pests like ants and cockroaches. It's also a good idea to check food from the grocery store before bringing it inside too, as that's how infestations usually start. Prevent future pest problems with regular housekeeping. Wiping down surfaces and getting rid of dust, fibers, and crumbs will go a long way.Moths can be a mystery to homeowners.
Moths generally make their way into your home in product packaging you bring home from a store or warehouse.Ever heard of the Clothes Moth?
Some moths may hatch over time in items which you have stored for an extended period of time, like birdseed. Usually, an infestation in your closet can be traced back to a single article of clothing so wash that sweater from the thrift store before you put it in your closet!
Some common moths you may have in your home are pantry pests which infest your flour and grain storage containers. Although these insects can actually include several different types of creatures, including weevils and beetles, the most common moths found in pantries are Indian meal moths. Indian meal moths have two-toned tan and copper-colored wings.
You may notice these pests on walls, counters, and ceilings. Indian meal moths enjoy feasting on your nuts, chocolate, powdered milk, cereal, crackers, dog food, bird seed, dried fruit, and other grain products.
Most active at night, Indian meal moths can also be spotted during the day. If you see a moth flying, you probably have a breeding population that has taken up residence in one of your food containers. In some severe cases, you may consider carefully applying pest control products to the corners and cracks where food is stored. These moth species are similar in appearance to Indian meal moths, but are smaller with golden wings. While adult moths are harmless, their eggs are not, damaging clothing and carpet.
Moths lay eggs in secluded spots with fibers such as wool, silk, carpet, fur, down, and pet dander. Larvae emerge within a few weeks and can cause damage for a couple of months. Larvae will not likely harm your most frequently worn clothing i. Instead, they choose fibers that are packed away or hidden under furniture. Food spills and other attractive scents also attract moths.
You can spot moth larvae by their spongy web-like layer or cigar-like cocoons on woolen items. Weekly use of a high-powered vacuum on carpets and quick cleanup of spills can reduce the chance that moths can find your best clothes and bedding.
Vacuuming removes moth larvae from carpets before they have the opportunity to hatch. Laundering in hot water and dry cleaning removes moth eggs, perspiration remnants and food spills, which can also attract pests. On clothing such as dresses or suits that you cannot easily launder or vacuum, use an iron or blow dryer instead to kill moths and their eggs. Doing this should remove the small larvae, which are rarely visible.
Pack this clothing that you have brushed outside separately from freshly laundered or dry-cleaned items as a mothproofing measure. Then store them in either reclosable plastic bags or plastic storage boxes. When you are going through clothing in between seasons, take the time to remove your clothing from your closet and give the space a thorough inspection and cleaning for moths and other pests.
MILLER MOTH CONTROL
As a part of this effort, vacuum thoroughly, even on the ceiling, to remove any remaining eggs or larvae. There are a few natural ways to prevent moths from gaining a foothold in your home.
While they do not have the power to kill moth eggs or larvae, you can ward off pests naturally with cedar or lavender. Cedar — Red cedar contains natural oils that kill only young clothes moth larvae. The effectiveness of this method also fades as the scent does. Cedar scent can be re-applied to boards, closets, and chests by sanding the wood lightly or dabbing on cedar oil.
Keep clean fabric inside and wrap items in clean cotton before storing them. Lavender — Found as a dried flower and in sachets and oils. Use a sachet suspended in your drawers or closet to protect clothing and bedding.
An added bonus is the scent.
Make your own by filling fabric pouches, tea bags or even wiffle balls. Here are a few ideas to get you started from Pinterest.Moth worms or, more specifically, the larvae of moths, are the immature stage of a moth, the stage between egg and adulthood. Larvae tend to find the way to clothing and food chambers easily, causing chaos in both zones. In both cases, cleaning and applying intense heat are the best friends in the fight clothes worms, larvae and eggs.
Remove all the clothes from the infested closet and examine it carefully. Moth worms eat fabric. In fact, these worms are rather responsible for the holes in your clothes than adult moths. Throw away the affected clothes. Vacuum the closet and each drawer separately. Moth worms are usually found in dark places, so you must pay special attention to those dark corners. Spray a disinfectant and wipe each shelf and drawer with warm water and detergent. Wrap your clothing in plastic bags, preferably large plastic bags that can be sealed.
Place them in the freezer and leave them there for 24 hours. Remove them and wash them as usual. After you have killed any remaining moth and worm, you can put your clothes in plastic packaging.
Use plastic bags that can be sealed, making the occurrence of moths through your clothes impossible. You must be logged in to post a comment.
How to control a clothes moth infestation
Insect infestations can be frustrating to deal with — they take time, money and a lot of effort to properly eradicate the pest.
If your home has a clothes moth infestation, another layer of difficulty is applied as you try to protect and clean your valuable wool, silk and fur garments. Recognizing that you have clothing moths will be your first step to eliminating them from your home. Some of the signs of a clothes moth infestation include:. It should be noted that clothing moths primarily seek out animal-based fabrics, as well as fur, hair, leather, feathers and taxidermy.
There are two primary kinds of clothing moths — the webbing clothes moth and the casemaking clothes moth. Both of these moths and their larvae are treated the same way. The only difference worth noting between the two is the evidence one leaves behind. Both moths have cream colored wings and bodies. Their larvae, which are responsible for your damaged fabrics, are worms that are about a half-inch long. Clothes moths seek out dark, undisturbed areas to eat, mate and reproduce.
Eggs hatch in about 4 to 10 days in the summer and three or more weeks in the winter. After hatching, the larvae seek out a food source. The larvae then dine until they transform into moths, at which point they mate and the cycle begins again.
The larvae and pupa of clothes moths can survive for months without food, which makes totally eliminating an infestation difficult. The entire clothes moth life cycle usually takes four to six months. However, researchers say that with the right conditions these insects can remain in their larvae stage for more than two years! Keep the following tasks on your regular chore list:. Are you struggling with a clothes moth infestation? What have you done to prevent clothing moths? If you have any questions about clothes moths, ask below in the comments, through our online contact form or by calling our customer service center at Subscribe to our eNewsletter for more pest fighting ideas as well as exclusive updates on our products.
Due to higher order volumes, expect delivery delays of up to 7 days. How to control a clothes moth infestation. Some of the signs of a clothes moth infestation include: Furrows, silky tunnels or trenches found on wool products, including clothing, blankets and rugs.
Excessive shedding from furs. Patches of damage to wool rugs, especially in little-used areas of the rug. In some cases, tiny tubes clinging to suspect material. Small crusty accumulations on fabrics, rugs and clothing.
These will be the same color of the fabric. If no wool, silk, cashmere or furs are present, then you may spot damage to cotton, linen and other less-desirable clothes moth food sources.
The physical appearance of moths when you remove fabric from their storage areas.