Types of Household Moths

Updated February 21, 2017

Moths are small flying insects with furry antennae. They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and though most are content to stay outdoors, several species find their way indoors as well. If you notice moths in your home, it is important to identify them right away. Moths found in the house may be damaging to your possessions, and in many cases, they can also contaminate food. Figure out what moths are flapping around your home and deal with them as soon as possible.

Webbing Clothes Moth

The University of California states that the webbing clothes moth is the most common fabric-eating moth. They tend to be have a wingspan of around ½ inch, and their wings are gold in colour with a row of golden hairs lining the edges. They are weak flyers that only flutter weakly around the area of infestation. The adults lay eggs in wool clothing, carpets, furniture, fur, felt and stored wool. The larvae emerge and damage the fabric fibres by eating them.

Meditteranean Flour Moth

The Mediterranean flour moth possesses forewings that are grey in colour with dark, zigzagging lines, while the hindwings are a dirty off-white. This moth has a wingspan that is about 1 inch; when it rests, it raises the front part of its body up, giving the wings a downward turn. Females lay their eggs in exposed food, and the larvae eat the food. Then they spin cocoons in the food before hatching.

Indianmeal Moth

The Indianmeal moth has wings that are greyish-white close to the body and a coppery reddish brown at the tips. This moth has a wingspan of between ½ to ¾ inch. They are often brought into the home through birdseed. The adults lay their eggs in grain, dog food, dried milk, flour and any other foodstuffs that are left out. The grubs eat the food before migrating to a pupation site. During their migration, the grubs may found on the walls and the ceilings.

Meal Moth

Meal moths have a 1-inch wingspan; wings are banded in three shades of brown with wavy white lines between each band. The females lay their eggs on grain products, especially favouring products that are in poor condition and moist. The grubs spin open-ended silk tubes that protect them as they grow. They eat through the open ends. After they have grown, they crawl out of the silk tubes to spin their cocoons.

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