Have you seen adult moths flying around your home? When you need to get rid of moths at home, killing them is not enough to solve your moth problems. In this article, we will answer the question how long does it take for moth eggs to hatch. So, keep reading!
While clothes moths are mostly not harmful to humans, they can cause serious damage in your house, from damaged clothing and ruined antique rug to spoiled food. Moths can eat what other species can’t. It’s actually fascinating if you think about it.
- 1 Types of Indoor Moths
- 2 How Adult Clothes Moths Reproduce | Moth Life Cycle
- 3 How to Detect a Clothes Moth Infestation?
- 4 How to Prevent a Clothes Moth Infestation
- 5 Getting Rid of an Infestation
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Wrap Up
Types of Indoor Moths
There are two types of adult moths that are most likely to be found in your house: pantry moths and clothes moths. Here’s a quick guide to help identify which type of adult moth you’re dealing with:
Pantry Adult Moths
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These types are usually found feeding on your pantry items. Dry food and stored grains, such as cereal, pasta, rice, and spices are their favorite food sources. They can also eat chocolate and nuts.
Webbing Clothes Moth
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Clothing moths are considered serious pests. These clothing moths like to feed on animal-based fabrics like wool, silk, fur, leather, feathers, felt, and other materials. Clothes moth feed on the keratin found in these fabrics.
Clothing moths rarely attack cotton, plant materials, or other synthetic fibers unless they’re stored dirty with stains, sweat, or liquid spills on them. Moisture attracts clothes moths as they don’t drink water. Clothing moths get their water from their food found in moist fabrics.
Types of Clothes Moths
The most common two types of clothes moths are webbing moths and casemaking clothes moth.
Webbing moths are also known as common clothes moths. They tend to create silken tubes around them from which they emerge when feeding. Case bearing clothes moth also creates silk tubes around themselves, but case bearing moths use the fibers of the infested material as well.
But Wait, What is a Gypsy Moth Then?
The gypsy moth is a species of moth that is native to Europe and Asia. It is one of the most destructive pests of hardwood trees, and it has been introduced to North America, where it has caused extensive damage to forests.
It feeds on the leaves of trees, and it can defoliate an entire tree in a matter of days. In addition, the gypsy moth caterpillars can be a nuisance to humans, as they can invade homes and businesses in search of food.
Is It the Same as the Winter Moth?
The winter moth (Operophtera brumata) is not closely related to the spongy moth, but it is of note because it is becoming established in Connecticut. So far, this insect mostly known along the shore of Long Island Sound and primarily towards the eastern part of the state. Its damage Is very similar to that caused by the spongy moth.
How Adult Clothes Moths Reproduce | Moth Life Cycle
Like most moths, a clothes moth’s life cycle is pretty similar to a butterfly’s life cycle. It consists of four stages: egg, moth larvae, pupa, and finally the adult stage. It is important to disrupt the moth life cycle and kill eggs to completely kill moths in your home.
You also need to understand the moth life cycle, so you would know at what point you need to destroy the common clothes moth to get rid of it completely.
In most clothes moth species, the male seeks the female moths to mate. Then, the female moth lays fertilized eggs. In other clothes moth species, reproduction occurs without mating.
Once the mating happens, the female moths lay the eggs within several weeks in a suitable environment. This environment is most likely your favorite sweater or your box of cereal. You won’t be able to detect the existence of these eggs as they’re too tiny to be seen by the naked eye.
Female clothes moths love to lay eggs in dirty environments – the filthier, the better! Not only do they create holes by eating away at fabric, but they also leave behind silken cases and fecal pellets. These latter items serve as new food sources for future generations of moths.
It takes about four to ten days before the eggs hatch, depending on the temperature. They can take longer if the weather is cold. The hotter the temperature gets the faster the eggs hatch.
The clothes moth larvae hatch from the eggs and seek out a food source. They would start feeding strongly on your clothing or food, and they would stay in the larval stage from a month up to two and a half years.
It is during this next stage that moths and their chewing mouth parts can cause extreme damage to fabrics. Once they’re done feeding on your favorite clothing, they start the pupal stage until they eventually become adults. Then, the adults mate, and the cycle starts all over again invading your entire house.
The Pupal Stage
As temperatures rise, clothes moth larvae will begin the pupal stage. The process is usually out of sight and under cover, in darkened areas like closets or beneath radiators. Pupation of the moth larvae can last up to 50 days but usually falls between 8-10.
The adult moth isn’t as destructive as the moth larvae. Moths in their adult stage don’t eat. The females die soon after laying eggs, while male moths live up to a year after mating. Some live for a few weeks, others for a few months. Thus, the end of the moth life cycle.
Fun Facts About Moths
When moths first leave their cocoons, moth’s wings are wet and they cannot fly.
They must wait until they are dry before taking to the air. Moths have hemolymph instead of blood. It takes the moth a few hours to pump this substance into its wings so they can expand and become functional for flying.
During metamorphosis, special cells within butterflies and moths’ bodies are activated.
These cells break down the butterfly or moth’s body into a pile of goop that slowly reformats itself. This process is called histolysis. The speed of histolysis is determined by its environment; for instance, moths in tropical climates mature faster than those in colder climates.
How to Detect a Clothes Moth Infestation?
It’s too difficult to spot a clothes moth infestation, especially when they’re still moth larvae. Adult moths can be easily spotted as they like to fly around the infested area. Here are some signs of a clothes moth infestation:
- Holes in clothing and carpets
- Webbing and cocoons in the corners of your closet or your pantry
- Clothing smelling musty
- Seeing moth larvae on your clothes, carpets, or in the items in your pantry
How to Prevent a Clothes Moth Infestation
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It’s better to prevent the infestation from happening in the first place than to deal with it after it happens. Fortunately, it’s not hard to do that. Here are some things you can do to prevent a moth infestation:
- Always wash new clothing before storage, especially if you bought them from resale stores.
- Dry-clean the clothes made of animal-based materials. This helps eliminate moisture from the clothes and also kills existing larvae.
- Wash your clothes before storing them for a long period, even the ones made of synthetic materials.
- When you’re storing your clothing for a longer period, put them in airtight bags to prevent anything from entering.
- Vacuum the floor of your closet as well as underneath carpets and furniture. Remember to empty the vacuum bag immediately after you’re done. This ensures that no survivors emerge and re-infest your home again.
Getting Rid of an Infestation
In order to treat nooks and crannies where moths might hide, the National Trust has done a trial using tiny parasitic wasps. These wasps lay their own eggs inside of moths’ eggs, hatching new wasps. (These new wasps don’t live long, are barely noticeable to humans, and aren’t harmful.)
It’s difficult to get rid of a moth infestation. It’s best to contact a professional service. However, there are several things you can do to reduce the number of larvae:
Getting Rid of a Clothes Moths Infestation
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- Vacuum the carpet and the storage areas around it, then empty the vacuum bag immediately.
- Wash the infested carpet.
- Clean the furniture well.
- Use a solution of soapy water and vinegar to clean furniture surfaces, including drawers, closets, storage areas, and anywhere you suspect the hungry larvae can be found.
- Wash the infested clothes and fabrics with hot water and soap, and dry-clean animal-based fabrics.
- Use lavender sachets and cedar clothes hangers as cedar is a natural moth repellent.
- Fill small cloth bags with fragrant herbs, such as rosemary, lavender, bay leaves, and thyme. Place them in your closet and drawers.
- Fill your diffuser with cedar oil or dilute it in water and put it in a spray bottle.
- Expose your clothes and carpets to the sun or wash all your clothes on high heat. Washing clothes at a lower temperature does not kill the eggs.
- For items that can’t be washed, seal them in a plastic bag and place the bags in the freezer for up to 12 hours to kill eggs.
Here are some answers to questions that may be in your mind.
1- How many eggs do clothes moths lay?
It depends on their species. For example, a female brown house adult moth can lay up to 600 eggs, while a female webbing moth can lay from 40 to 50 eggs.
2- How do clothes moths get inside my house?
Adult moths can get inside your house through carpets, clothing, and furniture purchased from a resale store. Pantry moths can enter through eggs laid in pantry items.
3- How long does it take for clothes moth eggs to hatch?
It takes from four to 10 days in hot temperatures while in cold temperatures can take up to three weeks.
4- Are clothes and pantry moths the same?
No, they’re not the same, but some kinds of pantry moths can feed on clothes and carpets too.
How to Get Moth Traps Online
Moth traps can be a great way to keep your home free of these pesky insects. While you can purchase moth traps at most hardware stores, you may find it more convenient to order them online. Here’s how to get started:
First, create a company account on the website of your chosen supplier. This will give you access to their online ordering system. Next, select the type of moth trap that you need. There are many different types available, so make sure to choose the one that best suits your needs. Once you’ve made your selection, add the moth traps to your shopping cart and proceed to checkout.
Many online moth trap suppliers offer free shipping, so be sure to take advantage of this if it’s available. You’ll also find that ordering moth traps online is often more cost-effective than purchasing them in person. So, if you’re looking for a convenient and affordable way to keep your home moth-free, consider ordering your traps online.
Moths are serious pests that can cause serious damage to your furniture and food. Knowing the type of moth infestation you’re dealing with and how they reproduce inside your house can help you in detecting and getting rid of your moth problem.