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The adult moth has a body length of between 6 – 8mm and a wingspan of 9-16mm. The adult female lays eggs, between 50-100, amongst the material upon which the larvae will feed. The larvae emerges from the egg and proceeds to feed. Whilst feeding the larva of the clothes moth frequently constructs a loose silken ‘shelter’ which has attached to it many particles of debris and faecal pellets etc.


Once mature the larva pupates, it is reddish brown in colour. The adult emerges from the pupal case and lives for around 2-3 weeks. Complete metamorphosis life cycle is followed. Females are capable of laying over 200 eggs directly in or close by food substrates. Larvae are nocturnal feeders, and pupation occurs in the structure of the habitat. Relative Humidity of 90% is optimum with preferred access to free water.

Pest Status

The clothes moth is a significant pest, the larvae feeding on a wide variety of materials of animal origin such as woolens, furs etc. Damage from larval feeding can be severe and the larvae are often difficult to detect since they shun the light. Outdoors, adults are on the wing from May to September. Indoors, adults are found all year round.


Treatment consists of tracing the source of infestation, removing and destroying any infested foodstuffs and then applying a residual insecticide to infested areas.
The use of monitoring traps specific for this species will aid in determining the level of infestation. They may be found in association with birds and mammals nests, therefore these possibilities should be checked when tracing the source of the infestation.

Case-Bearing Clothes Moth


Flour Moth


Indian Meal Moth


Warehouse Moth


White Shouldered Moth


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