Tineidae – Clothes moths

Can cause significant damage to clothing and other items made of natural fibers

Clothes moths, characterized by their small size, typically sport a wingspan of approximately 1 cm (1/2 inch) and boast a distinctive golden or tan coloration. Their unassuming appearance belies their fascinating lifestyle and dietary preferences, making them a subject of intrigue.

These moths are not renowned for their flying prowess; they are rather weak fliers and tend to remain near their primary food sources, often lurking in dark, undisturbed areas like closets or dressers. Their nocturnal tendencies further contribute to their elusive nature, as they become most active during the cover of night.

Clothes moths are found predominantly within indoor settings and have a particular palate – they dine exclusively on natural fibers. Wool, silk, and fur are their preferred delicacies, setting them apart from many other insects that lack the capability to digest keratin, a protein abundant in animal hair and feathers. This unique digestive ability enables them to indulge in a feast of woolen sweaters, fur coats, and silk scarves with impunity, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

The presence of clothes moths can be a source of frustration for homeowners and textile enthusiasts, as their voracious appetite for natural fabrics poses a risk to cherished clothing items and heirlooms. To safeguard against infestations, proper storage and maintenance practices become imperative, making these seemingly unassuming insects an unexpected but significant consideration in the care of valuable textiles.