Which type of moth infestation do I have?
It helps to progress treatment quickly and effectively if you first identify which type of infestation you have. Commonly, Indian meal moths are confused with the common clothes moth, but they are very different. Other common types of moths include the brown house moth and the white shouldered house moth. Not all moths target clothing and soft furnishings.
How are the different types of moth different?
Some target clothing
Common clothes moths have straw-coloured wings with no markings. Adults are around 1 to 2cm in length and their larvae make holes in fabrics such as clothing, carpets, rugs and furniture which their caterpillars feed upon. Clothes moths tend to hide in the darker areas of a room, and are often found deep inside wardrobes or under rugs causing hidden damage to the carpet underneath. A case bearing clothes moth is a dark buff colour with faint spots on their wings, and also makes holes in fabric. A brown house moth is up to 1.4cm in length and can be identified by their brown colouring and prominent spots. Their larvae feed mainly on animal-based textiles such as wool, leather and feathers.
You will be able to identify a clothes moth (or other textile-targeting moth) infestation by holes in clothing, carpets, furniture or other textiles. Carpet damage can also be caused by a carpet beetle, so try to find out whether you have a carpet beetle or clothes moth infestation (read more about carpet beetles here). You may spot clothes moths? maggot-like larvae on your fabrics, or see the moths themselves. The number of moths which you see does not, however, indicate the size of your infestation. You may have seen only one moth but that moth may have laid larvae, which can lead to a severe clothes moth infestation and considerable textile damage.
Some target foodstuffs
An Indian meal moth has distinctive dual coloured wings which are light at the front and dark at the rear. They are commonly found in kitchens where dried food is stored, and lay eggs in cracks, crevices and food items. Indian meal moths can be identified by the damage they cause to packaging and webbing patterns through the food which they inhabit, which can be flour cereal, bread, pasta, rice or spices. Indian meal moth infestations are notoriously difficult to get rid of because of their ability to hide eggs and larvae in foods, small crevices and food packaging. Often, all foods not kept in tightly sealed containers need to be thrown out.
…and some target both
The adult white-shouldered house moth has a white head and mottled wings. These tend to be less damaging to textiles than the clothes moth or brown house moth, and their larvae scavenge on food more often than textiles (but can eat both). You are likely to find their cream coloured larvae (which have a red-brown head) on dried foods, cereals, potatoes or rotting wood.
Solving your food or clothes moth infestation
Getting rid of clothes moths and other moths is difficult and best handled by a professional pest control service in London. Terminex can visit your property, identify which pest problem you have and ascertain the extent of your infestation.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you moth infestation.