There are two types of moths that are generally found in homes:
- Food-eating moths—more common, the food-eating moth will most likely be found in your pantry.
- Fabric-eating moth—this moth will most likely be found in your closet or possibly in dressers.
Food-eating moths come in a variety of types, but are usually frequenting your pantry or kitchen cabinets, pet food, or garbage can.
Food-eating moths especially like to eat:
- Powdered milk
- Bird seed
- And other similar foods
These foods are less likely to attract moths if they are stored in air-tight containers. Moth eggs are laid in or near these foods. The eggs will develop into larvae, which will also start eating the food. In their immature stages, you are unlikely to see them because they will be close to the same color as the food they are in.
The Indian Meal Moth
The most common type of food moth is the Indian Meal Moth, which is also sometimes referred to as the North American High-Flyer. It is also the most destructive moth. The larvae are often referred to as "waxworms." These moths are also known as flour moths or pantry moths. A female Indian Meal Moth can lay up to 300 eggs at one time. As adults, they grow to be about half an inch long.
The only way you will know that these moths are present is when you see holes in your clothes, including fabrics such as wool, silk, fur, feather, and even leather. The moths feed on clothes because the keratin protein found in our skin, hair, and fingernails rub off on the fabric.
What’s interesting about these moths is that the adults are not the ones damaging your clothes—it’s the larvae as adult fabric-eating moths do not have the mouths to feed on clothes.
Webbing and Casemaking Moths
There are two types of fabric-eating moths: the Webbing Moth and the Casemaking Moth. They are only about one-fourth of an inch long, and they are rarely seen. They seek shelter and breed in clothes because they are attracted to dark spaces, unlike other moth species. These moths live for about 4-6 months and reproduce by the hundreds.