Moths

What are moths?

Moths are part of the only group of insects that have scales covering their wings. They are closely related to butterflies. More often than not moths have dull wing colors, although this isn’t always the case. Moths have thread-like, or feathery, antennae. Caterpillars are the larval stage of moths.

a moth on damaged fabric in burlington county new jersey

Two of the most common species of moths found in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are the meal moths and clothes moths. They each have different characteristics.

Meal moths
The most common species of meal moth is the Indian meal moth. They have distinct-looking wings with a dark band that separates the front of the wing from the back of the wing. The front portion of the wing is yellowish-gray in color; the back half of the wing is bronze, copper, or dark gray in color. Their worm-like larvae are off-white, brown, greenish, or pinkish in color; their head and thorax are a more yellowish-brown color.
 
Clothes moths
Clothes moths are small moths that are usually beige, tan, or buff in color. They have narrow wings that are fringed in hairs. These moths prefer to avoid light. Adult webbing clothes moths are among the most common species found living in Pennsylvania. They are uniformly gold in color and have reddish-brown hairs located on the top of their heads. They also have golden hairs that outline their wings. Webbing clothes moths can be identified by the patches of silk webbing that their larva produces in order to create temporary feeding tubes.

Are moths dangerous?

Adult moths are not dangerous to people or property. It is actually in their larval stage that they are considered dangerous. Moth larvae damage food sources and natural fabrics, but they pose no direct health threats to people. Indian meal moths are common pantry pests and webbed clothing moths are known for damaging items made of wool, fur, or other animal products.

Why do I have a moth problem?

Meal moths are attracted to light, and therefore often enter homes through spaces found around windows and doors. Meal moths are also often introduced into homes accidentally through items purchased from the grocery store that are already infested with their eggs and larvae.
 
Clothes moths are often found inside dark storage boxes. They can accidentally be brought into your home on used items made of natural materials that are infested with their eggs or larvae.

Where will I find moths?

Adult meal moths seek out dried goods to lay their eggs in or on. Once their larvae hatch, they begin to feed on those same dried goods. Meal moth larvae infest a variety of dry goods, including dried fruits, grains, seeds, granola, nuts, chocolate, candies, bird seed, dry pet food, flour, powdered milk, dried red peppers, and chocolate. They can become problematic inside kitchens, pantries, grocery stores, and food processing facilities.
 
Clothes moths avoid artificial light and often take up residence in dark, quiet areas of homes. They are frequently found in storage areas like closets, basements, and attics. Their larvae feed on natural fabrics, preferring items made from wool or fur. Items they feed on include clothing, carpets, upholstered furniture, and furs.

How do I get rid of moths?

The easiest way to prevent problems with moths is to partner with a professional pest control company. At M.A.D. Exterminators, Inc., we offer the responsive residential pest control services needed to stop invasive and damaging moths from invading homes.
 
Our experienced and highly trained technicians perform thorough inspections and provide modern treatments. They will eliminate current pest problems, and prevent future problems with moths and other common household invaders. To learn more about eliminating moths from your Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Berks, Philadelphia, or Delaware County home, call M.A.D. Exterminators, Inc.!

 

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