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How To Control Casemaking Clothes Mothsclothesmoth

There are a number of pests that can do a significant amount of damage to our gardens and goods and even our home structure, but there is one particular pest that does most of it’s damage by going after our linen closet. This pest is the Casemaking Clothes Moth. This pest is very tiny ranging between 3/8- to 1/2-inch from wing tip to wing tip yet the amount of damage it can create in households and commercial clothing manufacturers can be huge.

Casemaking Clothes Moth are a fabric-destroying insects much like the hide beetle and carpet beetle. This moth has been known to infest and tear into sweaters, coats, upholstery, piano felts, blankets and any other woolen products. Why does the casemaking clothes moth have such a big appetite for clothes and fabrics? What they are really wanting is protein contained in fabric materials called keratin, which is their main source of energy. Many people know that keratin is the chief protein constituent of such human tissues as hair, fingernails and skin.

Casemaking Cloth moths go through a complete metamorphosis which mean they have an egg,larvae, pupa and adult stage similar to that of a butterfly. When they reach adulthood, they do not feed on fabrics and have a short life span. It is during the larvae stage where the Casemaking clothes moths are small cream-colored caterpillars with brown head capsules where they do the most damage to fabrics.

If you have an infestation of casemaking clothes moth in your home or place of business, you must act quickly before they do a large amount of damage. At Solutions Pest and Lawn we can give you the right DIY approach and offer the best control products available on the market to get rid of this destructive pest.

Browse our casemaking clothes moth control products below and be sure to check out our Knowledge base, view our how-to videos, email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or call us at (800) 479-6583 and we will give you all the help you need to confidently control and eliminate this pest or any other problem pest

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How To Get Rid of Casemaking Clothes Moths: Solutions 4 Step Process

To eliminate casemaking clothes moths from your property, you will need to first to a thorough inspection to find all sources of the infestation. Once you have detected where these moths are hiding and residing, you can then move on to controlling and prevention. We recommend a combination of methods, from traps to insecticide sprays and dusts. Take a look below at our simple to implement steps to getting rid of this problem pest.


Step 1: Identification - Identifying the casemaking clothes moth can be tough because it looks similar to most other pantry pests. Adult casemaking clothes moths can grow to be 3/8 to ½ of an inch in length. Their long narrow wings are brownish-gray in color. In very young adult moths the wings will have three dark spots on them, however, the spots may not be present in older moths because they can rub off. 

However, it is the larvae that should be worried about which looks like a small cream colored grub. What makes the casemaking clothes moth different from other stored product pests is the bugs' ability to make a case of silk particles that it lives in and takes with them while they are feeding.

If you do see a moth and are not sure what type, try to take a closeup photo of the bug and send an email to us at identification@solutionsstores.com. We will promptly respond back with the correct ID as well as offer you suggestions of products to best control the infestation.


Step 2: Inspection - Identify the source of the infestation and remove the product immediately from your storage area. Unlike typical pantry pests, the casemaking clothes moth prefer to consume fiber of fabrics so they will be less likely to be found in the kitchen. Instead, they will be found in storage areas such as closets, basements and attics where there may be clothes and fabrics, their main food sources.  Both adult female and male casemaking clothes moths do not like bright light and this is another reason they like hanging around these dark secluded areas.


Step 3: Control - Traps are a good way to start the control process. At Solutions, we carry Pro Pest Clothes Moth Trap specifically to deal with this type of pest. These are pheromone based traps which use female sex pheromones to lure males. The attractant is much stronger than natural pheromones emitted and which male moths will not be able to resist. Place a number of these traps around areas of high activity and check back regularly to see the results.


Give your home or area a good vacuuming and make sure to vacuum regularly and clean garments to set the stage for control and make the environment unfriendly to these moths. Things like reducing humidity and moisture. Dry cleaning your clothes is also a good method of killing moths that may be hiding inside of clothing.


Once you have cleaned up and checked all your closets, clothing, rugs, carpeting, and other problem areas you can then use treatment applications. We recommend spraying a broad-spectrum liquid pesticide Reclaim IT or an aerosol spray like Pyrid Aerosol. Spray the product around the perimeter of rooms and closets to create a barrier and inside cracks and crevices.


Dusts also work very well in areas that are heavily infested by casemaking clothes moths. Dusts usually can reach places liquid sprays cannot. We recommend D-Fense Dust or Alpine Dust Insecticide.


Step 4: Prevention - In order to prevent casemaking clothes moths from reinfesting items in your home, its important to properly store clothing and other things made of wool or natural fibers. Before stowing away fabric items they should be first washed or dry-cleaned. Then place them into airtight sealed garment bags or boxes. Furniture and rugs that are within your home should be professionally cleaned on a regular basis. You should also make sure to routinely vacuum and dust your home to remove pet hair and other dust and debris.

Set traps to monitor future pest activity and spray reclaim quarterly as a preventative treatment to lessen the likelihood of pests invading your home.


Learn More About Casemaking Clothes Moths

Casemaking clothes moths were likely introduced into the United States before the 1860s. They often travel with clothing, rugs or other belongings containing wool and other natural animal products. The larvae or worms stage alone is responsibile for damage to materials. The adult moths lack functioning chewing mouthparts. Damage is most often concentrated in dark areas, crevices or creases in their preferred food. Example of these dark areas could be beneath furniture and cushions, where carpets and textiles are folded and in garments under collars, cuffs and folds.

Adult clothes moths are secretive and are often found in these darkened places. They will attempt to hide when disturbed and will often run, hop or fly short distances to escape. They are weak fliers compared to other moth species. Males actively seek out female moths in order to mate. Males and females can penetrate surprisingly through narrow cracks as they find their way into storage cabinets and boxes.


Once mated, females look for suitable food sources to lay their eggs.

Identifying Casemaking Clothes Moth

When we are looking at identification features for the casemaking clothes moth we first look at the adult. The adults have a size about 1/4 to 3/8th of an inch or 7 to 10 millimeters in length and a wing spread of about 3/8 of an inch or 10 millimeters.

The color of the adults is a straw colored yellow or tan or buff colored insects with narrow wings fringed with hairs at the end. A tuft of hairs on the head is upright and coppery to reddish gold in color. The larvae are white colored with brown to black heads. 


Casemaking Clothes Moth Life Cycle

Generally, developmental time for the clothes moth from egg to adult in room temperature with a good food source is approximately 45 days. Mating and egg laying begins almost immediately after adults emerge from the pupae. Adult moths do not feed and die within a month. Female moths can lay up to 57 small pinhead size white eggs on or near the fabrics, clothing or furnishings they infest. 

Clothes moth larvae feed on woolens and mohair, feathers, fur, hair, leather, dead insects and dried animal carcasses. Infestations occur in clothing, carpets, furs, fabrics, blankets, store wool products and upholstery to name a few things.

Synthetics, cottons and other plant materials are not attacked by the casemaking clothes moth unless these items are stained with food or body oils. Although synthetics may be ingested, they can't be digested.


Signs of Infestation

A clothes moth infestation is often detected from damaged fabrics by the presence of silken webs spun by the larvae sometimes producing only scattered patches of silk. Damage is accompanied by copious webbing tubes or sheets which frequently include large amounts of frass. 


Approaching Casemaking Clothes Moth Control

If you have an infestation of casemaking clothes moths in your home, it will take a combination of sanitation measures and an assortment of effective insecticide applications must take place to be successful in ridding them.

We recommend spraying insecticides such Reclaim IT and aerosols like Pyrid Aerosol for spot treatment or more general applications, as necessary.  

Focus your applications on carpets, particularly around baseboard areas and under furniture. In furniture, focus on seams, buttons, other cracks and crevices and padding areas.

All insecticides should be applied as a rather fine wet spray, directly to the material being treated using a poly handheld sprayer. Applications to upholstery fabrics should be made lightly, moving rapidly while spraying.  Do not soak the fabric, because this will frequently result in staining not caused by the pesticide but caused by the water.

When treating carpets, apply lightly to reduce the chances of staining or soiling. If possible, the carpet should be cleaned before insecticide treatment.  

Regardless of the insecticide being used, be sure to keep small children and pets away from treated furniture and carpeting until they are thoroughly dry. These chemicals may be hazardous while they are wet. Check the insecticide product label for any other caution statements which may apply to this use.

These chemicals are all worn off to some extent by subsequent washing, vacuuming and dry cleaning so if you still have a problem, you may need to conduct some follow-up applications.

For any lingering pests, set up moth traps to capture them and use them in the future to monitor any possible re-infestations.


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Additional Resources on Casemaking Clothes Moths

Casemaking Clothes Moth - Field Guide to Common Texas Insects


Casemaking Clothes Moths | Horticulture and Home Pest News



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