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Where Do Moths Come From?

Moth Illustration

Moth Illustration

What Attracts Moths to Homes?

The two main types of moths that infest homes are webbing and casemaking clothes moths along with pantry moths. Many people wonder what brings these pests indoors.

Common knowledge holds that light attracts moths, and this is true in many cases. Moths often gather around outdoor lighting or windows at nighttime, where they may move inside through small cracks or when doors and windows are opened.

However, light does not account for all moth infestations. Once moths get inside, generally lit areas appeal to pantry moths, but clothes moths shy away from light. Both species also deposit their eggs in dark, secluded areas. Knowing what attracts moths in terms of diet and habitat can help homeowners locate them before damage becomes severe.

Clothes Moths

In closets, clothes moths attach themselves to fiber fabrics such as fur, wool and silk. Homeowners who notice clothing damage may be dealing with either the webbing or casemaking clothes moth species.

Webbing moths prefer woolen items, but may consume and damage other animal type products. They spin a mat or tube of silk webbing to hide them from view during the feeding process.

Casemaking clothes moths feed from inside cases they make from silk and fibers of the infested garment. Casemaking moths carry around and feed from the case as they move around feeding on the infested item. Both pests chew irregular holes in clothing and leave behind their fecal droppings.

Stored Food Moths

Pantry goods attract moth species that lay their eggs in stored grains and processed products. These pests often come into homes inside infested food packages.

Once inside, their eggs hatch into larvae that eat grains, dried nuts, cereals, and a variety of processed products. These pests contaminate food with feces, cocoons, and web-like material.

Moth Infestations

Knowing what attracts moths is the best way to help locate the source of infestations. Homeowners who find adult moths around kitchens can look for larvae inside stored food or hiding in cracks and crevices located within the pantry.

When larvae are found, inspect and remove any affected products to prevent the pests' spread. Those who notice holes in clothing should check closets and storage chests for clothes moth activity.

Vacuuming to remove moth adults and larvae, dry cleaning or washing and drying infested clothes, avoid over-crowding closets and routinely inspecting clothes for damage are a few of the preferred methods to help control fabric pests.

For pantry pest prevention, use a vacuum inside the pantry to keep things clean. Store products in sealed containers and practice “first in-first out” procedures to help ensure that old, out of date products are not allowed to accumulate.

Active infestations are tough to handle alone, so contact Orkin for effective removal.


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