There are three kinds of moth commonly found as pests in the home, The Clothes moth, The Brown House moth and the White-Shouldered House moth – which cause damage to clothes, carpets and soft furnishings made from natural fibers.
The smallest of the three, the adult clothes moth is a uniform pale gold colour and has a noticeable reluctance to fly, tending to scurry rather than take to the wing. This kind is the main culprit when it comes to ruined fabrics. The white shouldered house moth can be told apart from the clothes moth by the white head and shoulders which give it its common name, while the brown house moth is mottled and darker and is frequently found in kitchen cupboards and bedrooms.
Moths can be a serious pest especially in large numbers, when they can be very destructive. Although the adults have a very short lifespan, typically only living for two or three weeks, the caterpillar stage can last for up to six months – and it is these hungry, growing grubs that do the damage. Protecting your clothes, upholstery and fabrics may often involve a mixture of prevention and cure.
The eggs are laid amongst suitable fibres, subsequently hatching into white-bodied caterpillars with brown heads – and healthy appetites! Fully grown and having eaten their fill, they form a pupae within a silk cocoon, from which the adult will eventually emerge. Generally only one generation is produced each year, but where conditions are favourable the moths may breed more frequently.