Moths (Lepidoptera)

There are several types of moths that can become household pests.  Clothes moths can damage clothing and pantry moths can infest some stored foods.  Other moths that come in the house are occasional invaders and won’t do any damage.

Clothes moths (Tineidae)

There are two distinct types of clothes moths commonly found in homes. They are both small moths.  The webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) is a solid golden brown on the wings, while the casemaking clothes moth (Tinea pellionella) has three black spots on each wing.  Casemaking clothes moth larvae construct a small bag from material to protect their body from the environment.  They drag the bag or tube wherever they feed.

Clothes moths are frequently found in closets where they lay their eggs on suitable fabric.  The larvae hatch and feed on the fabric doing damage.

Indian meal moths (Pyralidae – Plodia interpunctella)

There are several species of pantry moths that can infest your home, but the one most frequently encountered is the Indian meal moth.  This moth is small and colorful. The wings are gray toward the body and has dark bands near the tip.

They will feed on a wide variety of dried foods, including cereals, flour, cornmeal, crackers, cake mixes, pasta, dried pet foods, candy, powdered milk, chocolate candy and many other foodstuffs.

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