Catch of the Week: Local Webbing Clothes Moth Infestation
June 9, 2020
A recent call from a local homeowner in Des Moines alerted our pest technicians of a webbing clothes moth infestation. The homeowner noticed the infestation when they discovered damage to the hammer of one of their piano keys. This damage was caused by the larva of the webbing clothes moth. The immature stage is the only stage in which this insect inflicts damage, as adults have no chewing mouthparts or capabilities. Webbing clothes moth larvae only damage items made of animal origins such as wool, fur and silk. So why the piano? Little did we know, felt on piano keys can be made of wool. Therefore, if you spot moths around your piano, clothes or anywhere else in your home, we encourage you to contact our professionals at Preferred Pest Control.
What is a Webbing Clothes Moth?
There are two types of clothes moths commonly found in North America known as the webbing clothes moth and the casemaking clothes moth. While they are similar and size and appearance, they can be differentiated if you know what to look for. For starters, the webbing clothes moth is a golden tan color while the casemaking clothes moth has dark specks covering its wings. Larvae for both species are cream-colored with a brown head. Spotting larvae or cocoons in your home are an alert that you have a potential infestation on your hands.
What causes Clothes Moths
Our exterminators at Preferred Pest Control receive many calls from people who discover wool suits, dresses and wool rugs in their homes that have been severely damaged. Notice a trend? All of the items listed above are made of animal fibers such as wool, fur, silk, feathers, felt and leather. These are a great source of fibrous protein that larvae can digest, making it a primary food source for them.
These pests seek out dark, quiet places to feed – another reason clothes are such an appetizing meal option for them. It’s even in their name! Clothes moths are often found nesting within the folds of uncommonly worn clothes, typically those items we leave in the back of the closet. But do not think that this is the only place you can come across these critters. Clothes moths also feed on furniture, curtains, rugs, and in the case of our Des Moines homeowners, the piano.
How Can You Tell If You Have Clothes Moths?
Early signs of a webbing clothes moth infestation can be difficult to notice. Homeowners typically won’t discover an infestation until apparent damage has been done. However, damage can be obvious if you know what to look for. Our experts share some of the most obvious signs so that you can keep an eye for and detect a problem as early as possible. Sure signs of a webbing clothes moth infestation include:
- Furrows, silky tunnels or trenches found on wool products. Larvae spin silk webbing to form a tunnel across whatever material they choose to feed off of causing holes in clothes or loss of pile in patches on carpets.
- Excessive shedding from furs.
- Small crusty accumulations on fabrics, rugs and clothing that are typically the same color of the attacked fabric.
- Physically seeing the moths themselves, the larvae, or cocoons.
Getting Rid of Webbing Clothes Moths
The best way to get rid of an infestation is to call a professional exterminator as soon as you notice the problem. Our professionals at Preferred Pest Control are more than qualified to treat whatever pest problem you may have in your home and encourage you to call our team in Des Moines. Getting rid of webbing clothes moths in your home can take place in a few different forms. Freezing can be an effective way to eliminate adults, larvae and eggs. Spray aerosols can be effective on adult moths; however, targeting larvae is much more challenging. Residual insecticide can be effective if repeated until the problem is taken care of. Rugs, carpets and upholstery are best treated in a commercial freezer or by a controlled heat process by professionals.
How Preferred Pest Control Can Help!
If you notice a webbing clothes moth infestation in your home, we encourage you to call our team of specialists at Preferred Pest Control. Professional help is easily the most effective way of getting rid of your problem and ensuring it does not return. Call our exterminators at (515) 276-7277. Otherwise, schedule an appointment by visiting Preferred Pest Control online.
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