how to get rid of clothes moths

Asked March 23, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

  • I was told that when the moths are flying, their eggs have already been laid. Where do I look for them and how do I get rid of the eggs, larvae?

El Paso County Colorado insect issues household insects

1 Response

Thank you for your question.

Clothes moths are rare in Colorado.

Clothes moths have been of great economic importance in the past but are rarely a problem today. Almost all insect-related clothing damage results from carpet beetles. Most clothes moth problems in Colorado probably originate on imported woolen goods that are infested. The webbing clothes moth generally is light in color and small (about 1/2 inch from wing tip to wing tip). There are reddish, fluffy hairs at the top of its head and its antennae are slightly darker than the rest of the body. Less common is the case making clothes moth, which is slightly smaller and more of a brown color than the webbing clothes moth. Distinct spots often are found on the wings.

Where do you look? Their name comes from the larvae's habit of weaving a case of silk and fabric in which to live. Both species of clothes moths can develop only on woolen fabrics and furs. In heated buildings with plenty of food, they produce about four generations per year.

How to "get rid of the larvae"? Control

Female moths rarely fly until they have laid most of their eggs, so simply killing flying moths will not control them. Although clothes moths are no longer abundant, you can take preventive measures for more expensive woolen or fur articles. Dry cleaning kills all stages of the insect. Place the articles in airtight containers to prevent reinfestation. Cedar chests and moth balls do repel some moths, but will not consistently kill existing insects. However, paradichlorobenzene (PDB) moth crystals are lethal to all stages of clothes moths and carpet beetles. Hanging a DDVP (dichlorvos) pest strip with clothing should also reduce infestations in closets. When using these products, be careful to avoid excessive insecticide exposure.