Moth Larvae

What Are Moth Larvae?

Before moths reach adulthood, they first develop into larvae. These small, caterpillar-like pests vary in size, but generally grow to become about half an inch long. Moth larva are a nuisance, and they destroy items they eat around the home. Most pest moths fall into one of two categories based on their diet and location. One of the most important factors in handling a moth infestation is proper moth larvae identification.

moth illustration

Identifying Moth Larvae

Clothes Moth Larva
There are two commonly encountered types of clothes moth larvae. Webbing clothes moth larvae move along fabric, leaving spun silk, webbing, and chewed fibers in their path. These webs can be a good way to locate the pests. Casemaking clothes moth larvae wrap themselves in cocoon-like tubes that they drag along as they feed.

These pests depend on animal and plant fibers for food. Eating holes through wool, silk, furs and leather, both types of clothes moth larvae can cause a lot of damage. Once they reach adulthood, the pests stop eating. However, they are still a problem because adult moths lay eggs that continue the cycle.

Pantry Moth Larva
Eating grain and cereals, pantry moth larvae often live where homeowners keep their food. The pests contaminate pantry goods with their feces and cocoons. Store food in thick plastic or glass containers to deny these pests access. If an adult moth is present, it may be a sign that food in the pantry is already infested.

Moth Larvae Removal

Because of their small size, moth larvae can be difficult for homeowners to locate and identify. It may be even harder to determine the severity of an infestation without help. Orkin's pest experts are trained in moth larvae identification and can develop and execute an efficient control plan.