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Fabric Pests

Fabric pests cause damage to clothing, furniture, drapery, and carpets. Common fabric pests are moths and beetles. Both are able to digest animal hair and often will target fabrics made of natural fibers. Wool, cashmere and furs are particularly susceptible to fabric pests.

Moths attracted to fabrics prefer darkness. Females will lay their eggs on the fabric. When the eggs hatch the larvae feed on the fabric until they molt into adults. Beetles prefer light and can often be found near a window or other light source.

Entry: Moths generally will come into your home on clothing or furniture but sometimes fly in through open windows. Beetles gain entry through small spaces and open windows and doors.

Nest Locations: Moths and beetles will lay eggs on or near the fabrics they feed on. Moths prefer close spaces so finding them is usually easy. Eggs and larvae can be found in silken cases.

Do-it-yourself Effectiveness: Dry clean clothing before storing and store clothing in airtight containers if possible. Avoid storing clothing in attics, basements or garages but if necessary use airtight containers. Dry clean or wash clothing, fabric and furniture purchased from second hand stores.

Once damage has been discovered, it is necessary to find the pests and eliminate them. Moths prefer close spaces so finding them is usually easy. Egg casings can be picked off.

Gypsy Moth

The Gypsy Moth larvae hatch in spring and immediately begin to feed on leaves of the tree. They feed mostly at night, preferring to rest during the day.

Carpet Beetle

The Carpet Beetle has an oval shaped body. The adult of the most common species has a shiny black body. Other species have various patterns of white, brown and yellow and orange. The larvae are smaller than the adults and have a dense covering of hair.

Webbing Clothes Moth

The Webbing Clothes Moth is likely the most common moth you’ll find in your home and is often referred to as the Clothing Moth. The Webbing Clothes Moth lives on natural fibers, especially wool.