Here is the list of the most common moths found in your home throughout the UK:

Commom Clothes Moth “Tineola bisselliella”

Commom Clothes Moth

  • 4-7mm long , with a wing span of 10-15mm.

  • Straw to a golden brown in colour Common throughout Britain and the rest of the world apart from the tropics.

  • It is not the adult moths that cause the destruction of clothes, but the small larvae themselves are the culprits.

They cause a lot of damage to products of animal origin like fabrics, carpets, fur , feathers, wool and leather goods. The mated female searches for a place to lay her eggs which will be amongst the fibres of clothing or carpets, the natural food source for her larvae. The eggs are deposited into folds, seams or between fibres. If the temperature is above 10C they will hatch in 1-5 weeks. The female can lay 100-150 eggs. The larvae are whitish caterpillars that form a camouflaged tunnel with fibres, for them to hide in during the day. At night they leave the comfort and safety of their camouflaged tunnel,  to feed on the fibres of the product or products. This stage can be as long as 2-7 months. After this period of voracious eating by the caterpillars they pupate inside silken cocoons for a few weeks then emerge as adult Moths.

Case-Bearing Clothes Moth “Tinea pellionella”

Case-Bearing Clothes Moth

  • Another clothes moth that can occur in habitats similar to the Common Clothes Moth.

Similar in appearance, and the larvae feeding on woollen clothing, furniture fillings, furs and carpets of natural animal origin. The larvae spin a silken case around themselves which contains part of the food material. This case is carried around by the larvae as they travel. Unlike most moth species, Case-Bearing Clothes Moths rarely fly towards lights at night, they prefer the darkness of your closet or cupboard. The male moth is the one that you will see fluttering around while the female is the one that you will find hopping, running and trying to hide amongst your clothing. The adult female will lay around 100 to 500 eggs on the fabrics surface and take around 6 weeks to hatch.


Case-Bearing Clothes Moth “Hofmannophila pseudospretella”

Case-Bearing Clothes Moth

  • 8mm long, with a wing span of 15-25mm.

  • It is a bronze-brown coloured moth with a few dark spots

This species of moth requires a high dry animal protein which will include feathers, hair and wool. The adult female lays her eggs singly on the substrate, which the larvae feed on. These will hatch in 2 to 4 weeks.The larvae produce a silk-lined tunnel in the food substrate. They will keep feeding only in that one spot until the food supply runs out. This stage can last as long as 2-5 months.

White Shouldered House Moth “Endrosis sarcitrella”

White Shouldered House Moth

  • 7-9mm long, with a wing span of 10-21mm. 

  • It has a white head and shoulders, and its wings are a pale gold flecked with dark brown.

Rarely a fabric pest. Mainly scavenges on debris, and food residues which cause contamination by larval silk, and droppings. Although the White Shouldered House Moth is capable of digesting Keratin, it seems to prefer a vegetable protein diet. Once this vegetable orientated food is found. The moth will form a silk lined tunnel within the food. In domestic premises it is more likely it will be feeding in the dust, and debris which has been collected under carpets, and other floor coverings. The adult female lays up to 200 eggs individually or in groups, into crevices, structure or substrate near the larval food material. After 7 to 25 days at the right temperate the eggs hatch into tiny larvae, and immediately start feeding on the food material. This stage can last as long as 2-5 months.


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