Casemaking Clothes Moth


casemaking moth

Adult Casemaking Clothes Moth
(Actual Size 1/2 Inch) As the larvae spins, a protective "case" is made of the same fiber that it is digesting. Sometimes, the larvae is hard to spot, since it is the same color and texture of the fabric.

The Casemaking Clothes Moth is not as common as the Webbing Clothes Moth. It is seen more in the southern part of the US, than in the northern states.

Damage done:

Cigar-shaped cases( 1/16- 3/8-inch( size depending on larval stage) usually attached to fabric at one end.

Cases are white or the color of the fabric infested. If cases are absent,damage is recognized by as surface feeding in irregular furrows, or if severe, complete holes.

casemaking larvae

Case Making Clothes Moth Larvae
(Actual Size - 3/4 inch)

Rodents will cause other types of damage: pulled threads and cut fabric


Adult casemaking clothes moths are approximately 3/8- to 1/2-inch from wing tip to wing tip, and are slightly smaller than webbing clothes moths. The wings and body are buff to golden with a brown tinge; the front wings have three dark spots, but these distinguishing characteristics are often rubbed off. The larvae are small caterpillars (3/8-inch long) that live within a small portable, silken case which they carry as they feed. The larvae have dark head capsules and the first thoracic segment (leg segment) is dark brown or black.

Casemaking Cloth moths go through a complete metamorphosis. That means they have an egg,larvae, pupa and adult stage just like a butterfly. Adults are unable to feed and it is the larvae stage, which are small cream-colored caterpillars with brown head capsules, that damage fabrics. In houses, they are most frequently pests of clothing, carpets, rugs, upholstery fabrics, piano felts, brush bristles, blankets, hair from pets, furs, lint from woolens, and any stored wool or silk products. These products all contain the animal derived protein keratin.

Casemaking Clothes Moth Biology

Females begin laying eggs (37-48) on suitable larval food the day after emergence as an adult. The larva feeds for about 33-90 days and molts 5-11 times. The mature larva then finds a sheltered place to pupate. The insect pupates within the silken larval case. Developmental time (egg to adult) requires 46-116 days. The casemaking clothes moth is usually more common in the southern states where there are two generations per year. Adults may lay eggs year around in the northern states but have only one generation per year.

Casemaking Clothes Habits

The casemaking clothes moth prefers products of animal origin, secondarily feeding on products of plant origin. Moths digest keratin, the protein of which hair, horns, nails, claws, hoofs, feathers, and scales of reptiles, birds, and mammals are formed. All of these make up natural clothing that we wear. Moths also attack a wide variety of other natural materials and even some synthetic ones. they often use paper, starch, cotton or silk to build cocoons It is a pest of woolens, rugs, feather, felts, skins, spices, drugs, furs, taxidermy mounts and stored tobacco. The larva remains within the case at all times and dies if removed. It can turn completely around without leaving the case and can feed from either end. Adults do not feed, it is the larvae that does the feeding. Such pieces as museum pieces, wall mountings, furs, taxidermy mounts, etc., might require vaults fumigation or treatment with a dust formulation.

Control Treatment Plans-How to Get Rid Of Casemaking Clothes Moths

Inspection and Cleaning: It is necessary to look at all the items of natural fiber in your closet, particularly the woolens. Clothes moths are attracted to the food, beverage, and sweat stains in woolens and other materials, not only to the natural fiber itself. It is vital that garments are cleaned thoroughly before being stored. Dry cleaning is the most effective manner of treatment for your clothes. Dry cleaning will kill all the clothes moth stages. The first stage of the larvae form needs vitamin B to survive. The nutrients in Vitamin B are found in such soils as sweat and body oils on left on the garment. They do not survive on clean woolens alone.

When inspecting, consider that adults do randomly move from room to room. They also fly towards a light source. The larvae forms may not be in the same location.

Also check the edges of natural fibers in rugs, carpets, and furniture. Look for places that debris collects ; under furniture that is rarely moved, along baseboards, in cracks between floorboards, and wherever debris collects. Also clean in closets where fabric items, furs, and feather-filled materials are stored, and inside and behind heaters, vents, and ducts. A flashlight and small spatula or nail file would be helpful in the inspection.

Discard those old feather pillows, dried flower arrangements, scraps of woolens, or keep a monitoring eyes on these items.

More Guidelines for Clothes Moth Inspection

Stored Clothing: Stored clothing should be kept in tightly closed containers after cleaning them.

Removal of animal nests : Fabric-damaging pests such as clothes moths sometimes move into homes from the abandoned nests of birds, rodents, bats, bees, and wasps. These sources should be located and removed. Rats and mice should be eliminated. The preferred manner for treating rodents is by trapping mice or trapping rats. If poisoned rodents die in inaccessible places, their carcasses can become food sources for fabric pests and flies.

Traps and Insecticides

The use of traps and insecticides as control methods is the very last step, if necessary. Cleaning and inspection are the most important steps.

Pheromone Traps: The Safestore Casemaking Clothes Moth Trap has a pheromone lure for Casemaking Moths. These traps are useful for trapping the male moths and monitoring the presense of casemaking clothes moths.

Use Insecticide Aerosols: Use aerosols with crack and crevice tips in secluded areas and the critical areas found after inspection. For larger areas, use insecticide concentrations, such as D-Fense SC. Top recommended aerosols are Bedlam Plus or Temprid Ready Spray.

More Guidelines for Clothes Moth Control

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