Moth Pest Control
Australia has an astounding 22,000 species of moths, with only around half of these given scientific names. With two pairs of wings coated in scales, large compound eyes and a coiled proboscis, the various species show great differences in terms of their size and appearance. Most cause no harm at all and many are useful for their role in silk-making and nutrition. However, the notorious webbing clothes moth and the case-making clothes moth can be terrible household pests and cause serious damage, requiring the attention of a highly qualified pest technician. For a complete Moth solution in your workplace get SMART Sense installed. SMART Sense detects moths remotely and alerts us of any activity, protecting you from a potential infestation.
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From Preparation to Treatment
To prevent clothes moths, avoid keeping boxes of clothes in dark areas like the basement, garage or attic. Clean boxes thoroughly before using them for storage and seal them with tape.
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Mothballs can be used to discourage clothes moths from devouring fabrics. Note that the clothes may need dry cleaning before they can be worn.
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Natural fibre clothing should be wrapped in individual plastic sheets before storage.
To protect your business from moths take advantage of SMART Sense which is a two-in-one trap that is wall mounted for moths. SMART Sense detects moths and cockroaches by sensing changes in temperature. The bugs are attracted by nontoxic pheromones and captured on a glue board. Any activity is automatically reported. To learn more about SMART Sense call us on 13 14 40
Common Moth Questions
01What are the general characteristics of moths?
Moths are insects with two pairs of wings coated in scales, large compound eyes and a coiled proboscis. The various species show great differences in terms of their size and appearance, while many moths are dull shades of grey or brown, there are some species in Australia with brilliant colours, sometimes with radiant, metallic shades. Most moths found indoors tend to be very small, with a wingspan of under 2 cm, and are coloured reddish brown, brown or grey.
02What are the general habits of moths?
The diet, habits and behaviour of moths are as diverse as their appearance. Some moths are elegant pollinators of flowers, while others feed on stored foods. Moths often become food for many creatures including mammals, birds, reptiles, arachnids, other insects, amphibians and even certain varieties of plants. Most property owners come into contact with moths when they feast on food kept in the pantry or attack fabrics in their linen closets.
03Why are moths considered pests?
Pest moths are known for being able to destroy wool, but common clothes moths (also known as webbing clothes moths) are actually drawn to a wide range of natural materials such as fur, silk, felt, feathers and hair. These moths are a shiny golden colour and about 2.5 to 5 cm long. By the time you become aware of the moths, it’s often too late.
04Where do moths live?
The clothes moth species shun light and usually reside in dark areas like wardrobes, attics and basements, hiding between fabric folds or in forgotten corners. Adult moths don’t eat fabric – it’s actually the larvae. They love the keratin in natural materials and have the habit of devouring coats, sweaters, blankets, comforters, carpets, toys, pillows and decorations. They are less partial to synthetic fibres, although they do eat stained fabrics and blends.
05What are the best ways to control moths?
Avoid keeping boxes of clothes in dark areas, and make sure containers are given a meticulous clean before they are used for storage. Seal all boxes firmly with tape and store the clothing inside plastic bags. Also ensure that all natural fibres and wool are clean before storage and wrap them with individual plastic sheets. Mothballs can discourage pests from devouring fabric, but the smell may mean dry cleaning is required.
Common Clothes Moth
The Common Clothes Moth is 5-8mm long. The adult moth is a beige colour with a small patch of light red hair on the head.
As larvae, moths are white caterpillars up to ½ inch long. They spin silken tubes of webbing as they move around on the surface of materials, and often feed within folds of fabric and other concealed areas. Threadbare spots occur where fibres are removed. Infested items should be laundered and discarded if necessary, and the primary source identified. Heat will kill any egg or larvae that are present. Insecticides applied to infested rugs and carpets may also be helpful, or spraying clothes with fabric-safe insecticide.
The Common Clothes Moth is a bothersome pest to humans as its main source of nourishment is from clothing. They love wool but are also happy to feed on other natural fibres, as well as other stored products. Once clothes have been attacked by clothes moths, they have a mesh-like appearance. They thrive in moist conditions but can also grow in low humidity. They are widespread across Australia. In nature they feed on the nesting materials or carcasses of birds and other animals.
Case-making Clothes Moth
The Case-making Cloths Moth is 7-10mm in length with a 10-14mm wingspan. They have 3 distinct dark spots on their wings.
The complete metamorphosis stage goes from egg to larva, to pupa, and finally to adult. The last adult stage will only last 4-6 days, while the pupa stage lasts 9-19 days. Overall, the lifespan of the case making clothes moth lasts for 2 months, but there are some records indicating some process can take up to 2 years. The case making clothes moth is 7-10mm in length, with a 10-14mm wingspan. They have distinct 3 dark spots on their wings, but some are indistinct making them hard to identify.
The case making cloth is a secondary pest moth that feeds on woollens, upholstered furniture, feathers, felts, clothes, and woollen carpets. This species is not as prevalent as the webbing clothes moth. The damage done to your furniture pieces is actually done during the larvae state, as adults don’t feed on furniture. They cause damage through their mouthparts, which suck on the fabric-based commodities.