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Pest ID: Casemaking Clothes Moth

Common Name:
Casemaking Clothes Moth

Scientific Name:
Tinea pellionella

Clothes Moth adults measure 3/8″ to 1/2″ (10 – 14 mm) from wing tip to wing tip. See the casemaking clothes moth picture where both wings are long and narrow. Body and wings buff to golden with brownish tinge, except for 3 dark spots on each front wing which may be indistinct or rubbed off with age. Hind wing fringed with long hairs. Mature larva up to 3/8″ (10mm) long. Prolegs on abdominal segments. Silken cases are cigar shaped, open ended with pieces of infested material incorporated into the case contain the larva. Surface feeding/grazing in irregular furrows or holes if the infestation is severe. The silken case containing the larva is usually located in cracks and crevices, not on the infested material.

Places Most Commonly Found:
Casemaking Clothes Moth larvae attack primarily materials of animal origin and secondarily those of plant origin. Animal origin materials include wools, rugs, furs, taxidermy mounts and piano felts. Plant origin materials include tobacco, herbs and seasonings, hemp, and cotton. Adults do not feed. They shun light. Males are strong fliers where females are sluggish and fly only sort distances. Adults live less than a week. Larva mature in 46 to 116 days depending on conditions.

Most Active Period:
Casemaking moths are active throughout the year in heated structures but are most active in warmer weather when the life cycle is accelerated and the population increased dramatically.

Difficulty of Control:
If you find a moth in clothes just know they are easy to control when identified and potential food sources are properly cleaned.

You will also want to take a look at a Centipede in the bug ID guide.

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