Types of Moths and How Best to Fight Each Type

Some people find them pretty, others find them annoying and some are downright terrified of them – moths. These insects come in a range of different sizes and are commonly found in homes during the summer months. Attracted to light and flames, they can swiftly fly indoors through open windows and doors and once inside they can be pretty difficult to get hold of because of the way in which they flutter around.

Amongst the different types of moths that may cause problems inside or outside of your home are the gypsy moth, pantry moths, and clothes moths. There are other types of moths such as the rare luna moth, which many find fascinating. It is worth familiarizing yourself with these moth variations and what you need to do if you are experiencing a problem in your home with one of these types of moth. So, let’s take a look at the different types of moth and what you can do to prevent or tackle problems.

Gypsy moths

gypsy moth

The gypsy moth is tan in color, with the male being slightly darker than the female. While the female does have wings, it is unable to fly. The males, however, can fly. These moths infest trees and can actually cause devastation to trees by attacking them and then leaving them open to attack from other pests. They can also leave a trail of debris by crawling around on decking, patios, and lawns.

You can recognize these moths by the blue and red spotting and the hair on their backs. You can also check for egg masses, which are either white or off-white and transform into larvae during the spring after being dormant through the winter.

In order to help control these moths, there are various products that you can use. This includes the use of insecticides that are designed for the control of this moth variation. You can also find pheromone traps that can be used in order to trap male adult moths, which means that the likelihood of reproduction is reduced.

Pantry moths

Also known as meal moths, pantry moths can cause huge problems in the home by creating an infestation. The eggs of these moths often get into the home through packages of food. If these eggs then hatch into larvae and then grow into moths, they can cause a real issue in your kitchen. There are various types of foods that the moth eggs may be present in such as cereal packages, seeds, dried fruit, pet food, pasta, and even powdered milk.

You can identify the presence of larvae through the webbing and small worms that are whitish in appearance. These could come from the food that you have opened or may be found in other parts of the home such as in dark corners of the walls close to the ceiling. There may also be cocoons in other areas such as the tops of your cupboards.

In order to control and fight these pantry moths, you need to get rid of the source. Make sure you wrap the food package up tightly in a bag before disposing of it outdoors. You will also need to conduct a thorough clean of your kitchen and pantry to ensure that any larvae waiting to hatch is cleaned away. There are also products such as pheromone traps that can be used to capture adults moths to reduce the chances of reproduction. You also need to make sure you get rid of any shelf lining that you may use in your pantry, use a bleach solution to wash down the pantry, and get rid of any possible sources such as packages of grains and cereals.

Clothes moths

Most people have heard of clothes moths but many do not realize that while clothes moths can be annoying it is actually the larvae that cause the damage to clothing. They can leave holes in a range of materials such as silk, wool, and cashmere. The life cycle of these moths is around 65-90 days and during their lifespan, they could lay up to 50 eggs.

If you notice adult clothes moths flying around the home, the chances are that you already have an infestation so you need to take swift action. If there is an infestation already in process, you need to make sure you clean the house thoroughly including the cleaning of rugs, carpets, and even soft toys. You also need to ensure that you wash any dirty clothes, clean out your wardrobe and vacuum it, shake out clothes in your wardrobe, and wash down areas that are affected by larvae.

There are also products that you can purchase to help with clothes moths infestation, such as mothballs that contain pesticides. However, for this reason, you should avoid using them loose and make sure they are used in a tight container. Cedar balls can also be used to kill off the larvae but they will not provide protection for your clothing if they are used on their own.

Calling on experts

While there are various different products that you can buy as well as steps that you can take to prevent or tackle a moth infestation, if the problem is severe you may need to turn to the professionals. There are many pest control companies that can provide you with advice and assistance when it comes to this type of infestation, and this can help to ensure that the problem is addressed and tackled as quickly and efficiently as possible.

When you are looking for a pest control company, make sure you provide as much detail as possible about the moth infestation so that they can offer the most appropriate advice. If they need to come out and treat your home, they will generally carry out an inspection as this will enable them to use the right products to treat your home. They can then also offer advice on how to prevent future moth infestations on your property.


Dave Tuttle

The moths we have are tiny. About 1/2 inch long by 1/4 inch (when wings are folded. They are white & we suspect they come in goods we get from China.


    Those might be whiteflies instead of moths you’re dealing with. But it’s hard to tell without knowing anything else about these insects like where you found them, etc.

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