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Clothes Moths

Elimination, Biology of Fabric Eating Moths

Clothes moths can become a serious fabric pest in the home because their larvae feed only on materials such as wool, silk, hair, bristles, feathers and fur.  You can keep them from becoming pests in your home by knowing where to look for them, how to recognize them, and what actions to take to protect your belongings from them.  In this article, you will learn a little of the biology and habits of these pests, as well as what products to use in clothes moth elimination.

Pest Control Information    Household Pests   Complete Pesticide Insecticide Catalog


Two species of clothes moths are of primary importance in homes: the case-making clothes moth and the webbing clothes moth.  Adults of both species are buff-colored with few distinguishing marks and look very much alike.  They do not feed and are not attracted to light.  Female moths lay from 100 to 150 small, pinhead-sized, white eggs which hatch in about five days.  Full-grown larvae are about one third of an inch long.  Larvae stage varies from six weeks to several years.  Larvae of the case-making clothes moths live in silken cases which they drag with them.  As the larva grows, so does the case, until finally the case is converted into a tough cocoon in which the pupa develops.  The moth emerges in one to four weeks.  Clothes moth larvae feed on wool, wool blends, feathers, fur hair, dry milk powder, leather, other animal products and sometimes on lint, dust or paper.  Clothes moth larvae do not wander like carpet beetle larvae so look for them on materials on which they feed.

Clothes Moth Control

  • Locate the source of infestation.  Look in places where clothes moth food is likely to be found .  Check corners, under furniture that has not been moved for a long time, behind baseboards, etc. 
  • Clean up or eliminate the source of infestation.  Good housekeeping is as important in preventing clothes moth infestations as it is in clothes moth control.  Your vacuum cleaner is often your best extermination tool.  Pay close attention to areas where lint accumulates (corners, baseboards, shelves, etc.).   Be sure to dispose of the contents of the vacuum cleaner bag after you clean.   Clean or dispose of infested clothing, cloth, blankets and other fabrics.   Freeze-treat small items such as ornaments and fur toys by placing them in the home freezer for a week.  Periodic brushing and sunning of stored fabrics is helpful in prevention and control.
  • Store fabrics that contain wool or other animal fibers only after they have been brushed and cleaned.  Storage in tightly sealed chests or storage closets is recommended.  Cedar chests provide protection only for fabrics that are initially free from clothes moths.  Moth crystals, flakes or balls can be used as noted below.
  • Treat with a recommended insecticide.
    However, chemical treatment will not be effective if proper cleaning is not done first.  Chemical sprays should be used only for spot treatment of cracks and crevices, along baseboards and other areas where clothes moth larvae are most likely to crawl or encounter your pesticide.  A professional insecticide that is labeled for carpet beetles, fleas and clothes moths will be water-safe for fabrics such as upholstery and carpets.  D-Fense SC is one of the best insecticides for carpet beetles, clothes moths, spiders..  We also recommend the use of D-Fense SC because it is odorless, non-staining, has an excellent residual and controls a wide range of household pests.  In areas inaccessible to pesticide sprays (small cracks & crevices, wall voids,) Drione Dust should be applied for heavy or stubborn infestations.
  • Inspect possible food sources regularly.  Regular and thorough inspection and cleaning are of utmost importance in prevention and control of carpet beetles and clothes moths.
  • Monitor closets, cedar chests or other storage areas with a Clothes Moth Alert pheromone trap.  Finding adult clothes moth stuck in this pesticide free trap will alert you to the presence of moths and help you prevent infestations.

Summary of Clothes Moth Control

Moth Control for Clothes Moth
Proper inspection and sanitation are the keys to enhancing your pesticide application.  Use D-Fense SC to eliminate existing moth infestations and for long term control of this and other household pests.  For hard to reach areas or severe infestations, Drione Dust should be applied.  Suspend SC is packaged in a pint, tip&measure container which gives you ten to twenty applications.  Each application lasts for two months indoors, and one to two months outdoors!

You can either order products individually or order a money saving kit that includes everything needed to control clothes moths and other pests.

Clothes Moth Kit:
Contains same products as Carpenter Bee Kit.
This kit is for our customers who already own a good sprayer and contains: 1 pint D-Fense, 1 pound Drione Dust and 1 Crusader Duster.

Order Clothes Moth Kit

Information about Defense SC odorless insecticide concentrate.

Call us, between 8:30 & 4:30 weekdays, Central Time
In the United States: 1-800-434-4555

"Do-It-Yourself Pest Control"

Professional Pest Control Products
6920 Pine Forest Road
Pensacola, Florida   32526


Carpet Beetles    Fleas  Drione

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Clothes Moths