Clothes moth

A clothes moth, a nocturnal butterfly, is called Tineola bisselliella. This moth has a length of 6 to 9 millimeters and is colored in between glossy yellow and dark brown.

The clothes moth prefers quiet living and storage rooms. The female places between 100 and 250 white eggs on woolen cloths, coats and upholstered furniture. About two weeks later light yellow caterpillars eclose. The main flight time between May and September is the most dangerous time for moth attacks.
To increase, the grubs need a protein called Keratin, which is available in animal hair. The grubs also eat strictly herbal and synthetical cloths but these cannot be stomached. Therefore mixed cloths with a high woolen percentage are in danger.
The moth’s meal/grub causes holes and bald spots in textiles.


Prevention:

  • Woolen articles should be stored in closed plastic bags or in closed boxes.
  • Hygiene factors such as a regularly suction, cleaning of the bottom and the scares of the storage shelves are important and help to decrease moth attacks.
  • Moth grubs are in need of darkness and silence for their development, therefore the woolen articles should be moved from time to time.
  • As a natural moth defense put some cedar, arolla pine or neem oil on a small cloth or a wooden stick. A small bag filled with lavender is also helpful.
  • Ichneumons flies can be used as a biological defense. Their eggs are less than 1 mm and are laid down on the moths eggs. After a short while the hatched Larvae kill the moths eggs and larvae. This method can be used in form of small papers which are settled with Ichneumons colonies (to be found under www.nuetzlinge.de). The dimension of these useful animals is only 0,3 – 0,4 mm and therefore they can hardly be noticed with the naked eye.
  • Attractants with an effectiveness of about 3 months can be bought in specialist shops. These attract the males by means of pheromones. They are proper to proof a moths attack, but they can only reduce the population.
  • Moths-ridden articles and articles suspected of an attack should be packed in a foil and placed in the freezer for 4-6 days. The moth’s eggs and larvae will parish by cold and die off.
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