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Clothing Moth


Lurking in the Darker Areas of your closet.

The clothing moth (Tineola bisselliella) also known as the webbing clothes moth, or simply clothing moth, is a species of fungus moth. This species is notorious for feeding on clothing and natural fibers; they have the ability to digest keratin. The moths prefer dirty fabric for ovi- position and are particularly attracted to carpeting and clothing that contains human sweat or other liquids which have been spilled onto them. They are attracted to these areas not only for the food but for the moisture: the caterpillars do not drink water; consequently their food must contain traces of moisture. The range of recorded foodstuffs includes cotton, linen, silk and wool fabrics as well as furs; furthermore they have been found on shed feathers and hair, bran, semolina and flour biscuits. Both adults and larvae prefer low light conditions. Whereas many others are drawn to light, common clothes moths seem to prefer dim or dark areas. If larvae find themselves in a well-lit room, they will try to relocate under furniture or carpet edges. Handmade rugs are a favorite, because it is easy for the larvae to crawl underneath and do their damage from below. They will also crawl under moldings at the edges of rooms in search of darkened areas where fibrous debris has gathered and which consequently hold good food.