Moths can be an unpleasant pest to encounter in and around your New York home, but most of the time, moths aren’t as much of a problem as they seem. While they can be kind of disgusting and look like a much less attractive version of a butterfly, they are usually more likely to cause issues when in their larval, or caterpillar, stage.
One of the most common moths you’ll find in the area is the clothes moth. This nocturnal species get their name because they chew on fabric items, especially clothing, while they are caterpillars. When in the larval stage, they eat things like wool, silk, and other fibers to grow big enough to turn into moths.
The caterpillars look like cream-colored worms with dark heads and are usually smaller than half an inch long. After becoming moths, they remain about half an inch long and a beige or tan color with narrow wings. Another interesting fact about clothing moth behavior is that they actually avoid light where most moths seek after it.
How Much Damage Can Clothes Moths Do?
While the larvae can eat many different types of fibers from clothing to rugs and carpets, they tend to prefer fabrics that come from natural materials such as cotton, wool, cashmere, and silk. Given that the smallest larvae can be as tiny as one millimeter long, they can be very difficult to identify at first. This allows them to go unnoticed for long periods of time and can lead to the destruction of many cloth items.
While damage from clothes moths can take a while to show up, a large enough infestation can cause frayed fibers and holes in clothing and flooring. The bigger the infestation of these clothes moths the more likely it is that you’ll have to replace items around your home, and often more expensive kinds of fabric are most likely to get ruined given their preference for these fibers.
What Are Some Ways To Prevent Clothes Moths?
To protect your clothes and other items around your house, you can take steps to prevent an infestation from getting started. By taking preventative measures, you will be much less likely to ever deal with ruined cloth items. Here are a few of the best prevention methods:
- Air out closets on a regular basis, as these moths hate movement and light.
- Move clothing in closets around often to disturb them as they like to be left alone.
- Patch up any holes or cracks in screen doors and windows.
- Make sure that closets have good lighting as clothing moths don't like light.
- Use things like garment bags and other organizing methods to protect clothing.
- Regularly check items made of wool, cashmere, and silk.
How To Remove An Infestation Of Clothing Moths
While you should do what you can to prevent these moths, you could still end up with an infestation. It can be difficult to know what to do in this situation, but the easiest and most effective way to remove clothing moths and protect your valuables is to get residential pest control from BHB Pest Eliminators, New York's premier pest professionals. With our over 50 years of experience, our team can handle the prevention and removal of these moths at any stage of their life cycle and regardless of how severe the infestation has become. To request a free inspection, use our online form or contact our office at (201) 584-6931.