How Long Does it Take For Moth Eggs to Hatch?


When you need to get rid of moths at home, killing them is not enough. You need to stop them from laying eggs and reproducing. In this article, we will answer the question how long does it take for moth eggs to hatch. So, keep reading!

While moths are mostly not harmful to humans, they can cause serious damage in your house, from damaged clothes and carpet to spoiled food.


How Long Does it Take for Moth Eggs to Hatch? Types of Indoor Moths


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  • Lees, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 10/29/2019 (Publication Date) - Smithsonian Books (Publisher)


There are two types of 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 moth you’re dealing with:


Pantry Moths


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Pantry moths are those tiny things you find flying out of a cereal box in your kitchen. There are four types of pantry moths: brown house, white-shouldered, Indian, and Mediterranean moths.

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.


Clothes Moths


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Clothing moths are considered serious pests. These moths like to feed on animal-based fabrics like wool, silk, fur, leather, feathers, and felt.

They feed on the keratin found in these fabrics. They rarely attack cotton 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. They get their water from their food found in moist fabrics.

The most common two types of clothes moths are webbing moths and casemaking moths. Webbing moths are also known as common clothes moths. They tend to create silken tubes around them from which they emerge when feeding.

Casemaking moths also create silk tubes around themselves, but they use the fibers of the infested material as well.


How Long Does it Take for Moth Eggs to Hatch? How Moths Reproduce




A moth’s life cycle is pretty similar to a butterfly’s life cycle. It consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and finally the adult stage.



In most moth species, the male seeks the female to mate. Then, the female lays fertilized eggs. In other moth species, reproduction occurs without mating.

Once the mating happens, the female lays 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.



Moth eggs take about four to ten days to 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 larvae hatch from the eggs and start feeding strongly on your clothes or food.

They stay in the larval stage from a month up to two and a half years. During this stage, they can cause extreme damage to fabrics or contaminate your food.

Once they’re done feeding on your favorite clothes, they start the pupation stage until they eventually become adults. Then, the adults mate, and the cycle starts all over again invading your entire house.



Adults aren’t as destructive as the larvae. Moths in their adult stage don’t eat. They’re there to mate and lay eggs. The females die soon after laying the eggs, while males can live up to a year after mating.


How to Detect a Moth Infestation?


It’s too difficult to spot a moth infestation, especially when they’re still larvae. Adult moths can be easily spotted as they like to fly around the infested area.

Here are some signs of a moth infestation:

  • Holes in clothes and carpets
  • Webbing and cocoons in the corners of your closet or your pantry
  • Clothes smelling musty
  • Seeing 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 clothes 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 or eggs.
  • Wash your clothes before storing them for a long period, even the ones made of synthetic materials.
  • When you’re storing your clothes 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.


How Long Does it Take for Moth Eggs to Hatch? Getting Rid of an Infestation


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 area around it, then empty the vacuum bag immediately.
  • Wash the infested carpet.
  • Clean the furniture well as they may have invisible eggs laying in them.
  • Use a solution of soapy water and vinegar to clean furniture surfaces, including drawers, closets, and anywhere you suspect the larvae can be found.
  • Wash the infested clothes and fabrics with hot water and soap, and dry-clean animal-based fabrics.
  • Use 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.


Getting Rid of a Pantry Moths Infestation


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  • Place the infested package in a well-sealed plastic bag and discard it.
  • Don’t try to save any contaminated food as eggs may still be in there.
  • Remove all the items in the pantry and get rid of them.
  • Vacuum and clean the cabinet and the shelves with water and vinegar.
  • Clean kitchen counters and floors.
  • Don’t forget to clean the crevices and corners in the pantry.
  • Remove shelf liners and replace them with fresh ones.
  • Also, use fragrant herbs and cedar oil.


How Long Does it Take for Moth Eggs to Hatch? FAQs


Here are some answers to questions that may be in your mind.


1- How many eggs do moths lay?

It depends on their species. For example, a female brown house moth can lay up to 600 eggs, while a female webbing moth can lay from 40 to 50 eggs.


2- How do moths get inside my house?

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 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 Long Does it Take for Moth Eggs to Hatch? Wrap Up


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 them. Hopefully, with the aid of the information provided in this article, you’ll be able to keep your house moth-free.

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