Clothes Moths Control

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What is a Clothes Moth?

The webbing clothes moth species is the most commonly encountered clothes moth. Its name comes from the larval produced silk webbing which characteristically covers over the area upon which the larva is feeding. They are worldwide in distribution and are found throughout New Zealand. The casemaking clothes moth species is less commonly encountered and of far less economic importance than the webbing clothes moth. Its common name comes from the silken tube/case spun by the larva and which is carried about wherever the larva goes. Webbing moth adults measure about 12 mm from wing tip to wing tip, both wings long and narrow. Wings and body uniformly buff/golden colour except for tuft of reddish setae (hairs) on top of head. Hind wing margins fringed with long hairs. Mature larva are up to 12 mm long. Whitish and shiny except for a brownish head. Case moth adults measure about 10-14 mm from wing tip to wing tip, both wings 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 are up to 10 mm long. Whitish except for a brown head and dorsal divided shield plate on the prothorax.

Why do I have them?

Webbing Clothes Moth larvae attack synthetic fibers only when they are interwoven with natural animal fibre material or are soiled. They feed on keratin-containing materials such as wool, hair, fur , etc. They have been found infesting beef meal, fish meal, pemmican,casein, and milk products in addition to furs, woolens, etc. Outdoors, clothes moths have been found in the nests of birds and insects. The larvae prefer to feed in hidden places such as under collars, on carpeting from the back/jute/underneath side, etc. In these situations they typically feed through their silken tunnel. When the larvae feed in more exposed situations, they usually spin a silken mat or patch and feed from beneath it. However, under heavy infestation situations, larvae may crawl about exposed, such as under a heavily infested sofa. Larvae do much better in areas of high humidity. The adults do not feed. They shun light, not being attracted to lights as are most moth species. Females are poor fliers but are fast on their legs and run when disturbed. Males may fly up to 100 yards but seldom do so. When disturbed, they quickly seek a secluded/hidden place such as in fabric folds, etc. Casemaking clothes moth larvae attack primarily materials of animal origin and secondarily those of plant origin. Animal-origin materials include feathers, wools, rugs, furs, mummified carcasses, taxidermy mounts, and piano felts . Plant-origin materials include tobacco, various herbs and seasonings, hemp, various plant-based drugs, linseed, almonds, saffron, etc. It is particularly a pest of feathers/down and hair/fur. The larva moves by extending its head and thoracic legs out of its case and then drags the case along. It can feed from either end of the case. The larva usually grazes here and there causing only surface furrows but may occasionally cause holes by feeding in one place for some time. It rarely spins silk on the material. When it is ready to pupate, the larva seeks a protected place, such as a crack or crevice which is usually off the infested material. Adults do not feed. They shun light, not being attracted to lights as are most moth species. The males are smaller and are active fliers whereas, the females are sluggish and fly only short distances.

Are they dangerous?

The Webbing Clothes is not associated with any disease so although not dangerous they can certainly be a nuisance and cause damage.There are silken tubes in the hidden portions of clothes, such as under collars, or silken mats or patches on material. Both the tubes and mats have fibers and feces incorporated into them. Surface grazing of fibers and/or holes in material are present. In fur, the hairs are clipped at their base causing loose fur and exposed hide. The Casemaking Clothes Moth is also not associated with any disease so although not dangerous they can certainly be a nuisance and cause damage. There silken cases which are cigar-shaped, open­ ended, 1.5-10 mm long, with pieces of infested material incorporated into the case, and usually attached to the material at one end, contain the larva. Surface feeding/grazing in irregular furrows or holes occurs if the infestation is severe. The case-containing the pupa is usually located in a crack or crevice, not on the infested material.

How do I get rid of moths?

Getting rid of clothes moths can be a difficult task as they are seldom seen, because unlike many other moths they avoid light, preferring dark undisturbed areas. NZ Pest Control is your one-stop company for eradication of clothes moth problems. Our highly trained pest control professionals will make a thorough inspection of your property and then create a custom designed solution to rid your property of clothes moth in the quickest and safest manner possible.

Can I do it myself?

Do-It-Yourself methods of Clothes Moth control are often not successful as it takes a trained eye to know just where to look for these pests. Chemicals and pesticides should always be used with great care as they can be extremely harmful to humans and pets if mixed or used incorrectly.

Let us help you

How soon can you get here?

At NZ Pest Control, we strive to give our customers a rapid, efficient service, and make every effort to be with you as soon as possible.

Is the treatment safe?

All products used by NZ Pest Control, must have first been thoroughly checked by the EPA and registered for pest control use. Only then can they be considered for use by our highly trained pest control professionals. You can be assured that pest control services provided by NZ Pest Control will not cause any harm to humans or pets.

How can I prevent clothes moths in the future?

To reduce or prevent the invasion from the outside by clothes moths, be sure to remove the nests of birds and insects, such as wasps, as soon as they abandon them for the season. Vacuuming is essential and should be done on a regular basis to remove soiling materials from carpeting and upholstered furniture as well as pet hair, human hair, loose fibers from clothes and furnishings, etc. Accumulation of such materials in cracks, crevices, underneath objects, and in corners can serve as breeding areas. Furnishings and clothes must be kept unsoiled by periodic cleaning. Clothes when soiled with perspiration, etc, must not be stored or mixed in with clean clothes. Susceptible materials associated with the infested ones, e.g. other clothes in the closet, should also be washed or dry cleaned as described below because the eggs and small larvae are often difficult to detect. Dry cleaning or washing in hot soapy water followed by a hot dryer will kill all stages. This can be used for clothes, throw rugs, etc. “Dry-clean only clothes and furs” should be professionally cleaned. Professional cleaning of carpets, rugs and fabric-covered furniture may be required if they are infested.

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