Family Name Moths belong to the Lepidoptera family, as do butterflies.
General characteristics Moths grow to 12 to 18mm long and have two pairs of membranous wings. Metamorphosis is complete, comprising egg, larvae, pipe and adult stages.
Pest control Thorough vacuuming of infected areas and removing and washing clothing is a start but infestations will often need a professional approach to eradicate them completely and avoid the risk of re-infestation.
Professional treatments will commence with a thorough site inspection and can involve the use of chemical and non-chemical solutions including sprays and fumigation and non-toxic pheromone trap dispensers.
Species Characteristics There are reckoned to be around 2,500 different varieties of moth in the UK. Here are some of the most common. Click on the names to see their specific characteristics.
Common Clothes Moth - Tineola Bisselliella
Common Clothes Moth - Tineola Bisselliella 10 to 15mm wingspan with a pale buff unmarked forewing.
Brown House Moth - Hofmannophila Pseudospretella
Brown House Moth - Hofmannophila Pseudospretella 15 to 25mm wingspan with a dark buff brown forewing with black and brown spots.
White Shouldered House Moth - Endrosis Sarcitrella
White Shouldered House Moth - Endrosis Sarcitrella 15 to 25mm wingspan with a buff brown forewing. Resembles Brown House Moth but has white scales on head and thorax.
Areas where they are found Moths generally avoid light and are found in the home in dark places such as attics, basements, wardrobes and closets.
Significance as a pest Whilst moths carry no health risk, they can cause severe damage to natural fibres and fabrics in a wide variety of materials. As such they can damage rugs, carpets and clothing, including furs and leather.