Homeowners in Atlantic and Cape May Counties are most apt to interact with indoor moths when they notice that the quality of their clothing has deteriorated as these pests are quite talented at evading human contact. Indoor moths are helped by their preference for darkness, avoiding light whenever possible and hiding in mostly dark locales such as closets, basements, and attics. Conversely, outdoor moths tend to not be able to resist light sources, and that’s when they are most noticed by people.
Moths have a distinctive appearance in flight with rapidly fluttering wings that can be quite sizable compared to the rest of their body. These brownish insects tend to be about half an inch long although their size can fluctuate quite a bit. For example, Atlas moths, which are mostly located in Southeast Asia, have wingspans that can reach 10 inches in length. However, American moths tend to be much smaller than that.
Many are surprised to learn that adult moths are not the ones who eat clothes. Their children do. When adult moths look for places for their larvae, they tend to select dark spaces with keratin for their young ones to consume. Keratin is found in wool, leather, silk and fur as well as in your fingernails, hair, and skin.
Larvae can be difficult to spot as the tunnels that some moths create while eating is the same color of the fabric they are consuming while other moths instead have cases they carry that grow as the larvae do and that are also the same color as the fabric being consumed.
Although larvae do eventually become adults – i.e. non-clothes consumers – they usually lay eggs in the same clothes they had consumed before departing, meaning that this cycle could conceivably continue until your clothes are gone or at least significantly damaged.
Meanwhile, outdoor moths can cause quite a bit of damage to fruits and trees on your property. A large infestation can even cause a tree to lose all of its leaves.
How Do They Get In?
The ones that are attracted to your clothes tend to come in through an open window or door although some are brought in by people carrying clothes, food or plants. Of course, they can also simply fly into a grocery bag being carried in or take a ride on someone’s shoulder as they make their way inside.
Inspect anything brought inside for moths. Focus on fruit and clothes. Periodically check clothes hanging in your closet or otherwise accessible to flying insects. This is especially important for clothes that are not worn very often as those could be host to a moth infestation for months, and you might not know it.
To prevent outdoor moths, change your outdoor lights from bright white bulbs to darker colors such as yellow. You can also apply citronella oil to your outdoor lights every day or use citronella candles.
I Have Moths, Now What?
If you discover that you are suffering from a moth infestation, whether it’s in your yard or in your closet, contact RID Pest Control for professional assistance. Our New Jersey-based trained technicians will utilize the appropriate method for removing any moths located on your property, and we will either take care of your significant problem or ensure that your minor moth infestation does not turn into a major one.