- Color: buff to golden with a brown tinge; the front wings have three dark spots; larvae (caterpillars) have dark head capsules, and the first thoracic segment (leg bearing segment) is dark brown or black.
- Size: adults – 3/8- to 1/2- inch from wing tip to wing tip; larvae – 3/8- inch long.
- Larvae live within a small portable, silken case which they carry as they feed.
Habits of Casemaking Clothes Moths:
- Females lay their eggs (37-48) singly on suitable larval food the day after emerging as adults.
- Larvae feed for about 33-90.
- The insect pupates within the silken larval case.
- Developmental time (egg to adult): 46-116 days.
- They are usually more common in the southern states where there are two generations per year.
- The larva remains within the case at all times and dies if removed. It can turn completely around without leaving the case and can feed from either end.
- Adults do not feed.
- Casemaking clothes moths shun light, and, although males are active fliers, females fly only short distances.
Damage From Casemaking Clothes Moths:
- To fabrics and other products of animal origin; it also feeds on products of plant origin.
- Adult moths.
- Larvae on woolens, rugs, feathers, felts, skins, spices, drugs, furs, taxidermy mounts, and stored tobacco.
- Unusual locations, e.g., in air ducts (especially the cold air return), along baseboards, and other areas where pet hair accumulates.
How to Control and Kill Casemaking Clothes Moths:
- Susceptible materials should be inspected for moth larvae (caterpillars) and cleaned or discarded.
- Rugs and furniture should be thoroughly vacuumed or otherwise cleaned to remove lint, pet hair, and some of the larvae.
- Stored clothing should be kept in tightly closed containers as should spices, tobacco, and drugs.
- Infested rugs, carpets, and furniture should be cleaned thoroughly.
- Sensitive items, such as museum pieces, wall mountings, furs, taxidermy mounts, etc., might require vault fumigation.