Clothes moths are small (1/3 inch) and are rarely seen. They prefer to hide in dark places, in the seams of the fabrics and clothes. When startled they fly weakly and then settle quickly into a dark place once again. If you see small moths flying freely about in a well lit place these are not clothes moths. Clothes moth larvae are so small as to be nearly invisible. The damage done by these larvae can be quite severe. The larvae will feed upon any animal product including wool, felt, chamois, suede, or silk.
Clothes moths can be controlled by a variety of methods, including periodic dry cleaning or laundering, proper storage, freezing, heating, or fumigating with dry ice, trapping, or using an insecticide. If humidity can be kept low inside buildings, an environment that is not suitable for clothes moth development will be created. Building construction that is free of many tiny cracks and crevices also contributes to fewer clothes moth problems. Good housekeeping practices are also important. Although most people can control clothes moth problems themselves, some infestations are best handled by a pest control applicator who has the equipment, materials, and experience necessary to deal with a difficult control job.
For more information visit The University of California Management Guidelines or try The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
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