5 Moth Facts
Moths are insects that can fly and they are close relatives of the butterflies. These insects are brown, grey, white, or black; unlike their colorful relatives. Moths are known to rest by keeping their wings in a flat position which makes them different from butterflies. While moths may seem to be tiny in size they can still successfully damage a large part of your household like the clothes and other textiles you possess. There are several kinds of moths, however, a few of these are common to most households.
Identifying Common Types Of Moths
Brown House Species
The scientific name of these type of moths is “Hofmannophila Pseudospretella”. This insect is basically a scavenger and it consumes wool most of the times. They are known to damage carpets and other furniture. A brown house moth can be about 26 millimeters long and has a slender yellow body. These moths are found both in the United States as well as the United Kingdom. As their name suggests, they are brown colored and also spotted. An average brown house moth can survive up to a year.
In their larval stage, they are known to travel distances before changing to the pupa stage. Like other moths, even they do not prefer being near the light.
Common Clothes Species
This species of moths are named “Tineola Bisselliella” in scientific terms. The adult stage of this moth is about 6 to 8 millimeters and they are also responsible for creating ill-shaped holes in textiles. The rear edge of their wings is heavily fringed. In the larval stage, they are nearly 10 millimeters long. These moths have brown heads and are creamy white in color.
They take nearly 6 weeks to develop into adults from eggs. These species are known not to fly as they prefer running. They also try to stay away from sources of light.
Case-Bearing Clothes Species
These type of moths are also known as “Tinea Pellionella”. The holes made by these moths are considered regular, unlike the previous type. The adult moths may be about 6 to 8 millimeters in length. They have dark and buff front wings with about three spots which sometimes appears as two. These are also a creamy shade of white in color. During the larval stage, they can measure up to about 20 millimeters. They have a wingspread of about half an inch. Female case-bearing moths are known to fly for small distances.
This species is rare when compared to common clothes moth species. They are found in hides and objects of animal origin. They also damage hair and feathers.
White Shouldered House Species
These insects are also named “Endrosis Sarcitrella”. They are known for not creating too much damage to fabrics and clothing. The adult moth measures up to 10 millimeters long and has a white head. The wings of this species are often mottled. The length of the larva can be nearly 12 millimeters. They are cream in color and have a reddish brown head when they are larvae. The pupal stage is spent in silk cocoons. These species also live for a year usually. They are found in cool buildings outside.
By using these characteristic features, it will be easy for you to understand which type of moths have entered your house and will help you take appropriate actions against them.
What Do Moths Eat?
Moths are known for having nectar, however, their diet is not restricted to this. For reproductive purposes, moths consume a variety of liquids to provide themselves with a source of energy. Their diet isn’t particularly appetizing but they also eat sap, fruits, feces and rotten animals.
Moths are known to look for food during night time and therefore they do not decide on what to eat based on its color. Their smelling powers help them detect food easily. The moths we discussed in the previous section feed on clothing, hair, fur, leather, furniture, wool and milk powder. When you notice small holes in your clothes, they’ve probably been created by moths. However, many adult moths do not consume anything at all.
What Eats Moths?
Many animals are known to feed on moths as well as butterflies. Many of the nocturnal predators are known to feast on moths. Such as owls, arachnids, and flying mammals. Lizards are also known to eat moths very frequently. Some bears also may eat them like the Grizzly Bears. Moths are sometimes even eaten by humans. Countries like South Africa consider moths an option for their meal.
How Long Do Moths Live And What Factors Affect Their Lifespan?
Moths usually live for a minimum of 8 months and may survive for a longer period as well. The lifespan of moths depends on the strategy used by them in order to survive winters. Brown house moths and white shouldered house moths can live up to a year. Their lifespan depends on several conditions such as the temperature.
How Do Moths Enter Your House?
There is a huge chance that your clothes may have been damaged by moths sometime in your life. It sure is not pleasant to discover this but the most important question is how did moths enter your house?
Moths can enter your closets and storage in different ways. Most of the times they just fly through doors and windows that are left open. However, sometimes they just accompany the second-hand shopping you do at thrift stores, garage sales, and similar places.
Other times they may enter your house through your shed, tiny crevices or cracks in your house that you would not have noticed. They may also be introduced by bigger rodents and birds.
Another source for them to enter is rotten or contaminated food. Pantry moths eat rice, nuts, grains, flour, etc. It’s best for you to look in corners around your house or look for small cracks in the walls and doors.
The Conclusion of Moth Facts:
There are several varieties of moths that you can find on this planet, but only a few of them are commonly found in homes. Once a moth lays an egg in your house, it may lead to infestation so be careful and be on the lookout for these flying insects. If you discover an infestation, you must identify the moth and its breeding material. Once this is done, an appropriate solution can be devised. Even though chemical control is not recommended, you may have to use pesticides in some cases. A simpler and short-term solution to prevent infestation is to maintain hygiene by vacuuming bits of foods and cloth.