Is Moth Powder or Dust Poisonous? Science Behind Moth Powder

You may have observed some kind of dust in your hand whenever you tend to touch or grab a moth. This dust is nothing but the tiny scales that serves many functions for the moth. Is moth powder poisonous? Can moths kill you? Why are moths dusty? What is the powdery stuff on moths? Do moths turn to dust?

Moths are flying insects that feed on nectar. There are many kinds of moths including the Polyphemus moths, Hercules moth, pygmy blue-butterfly moth, as well as other species. These insects aren’t capable of biting or stinging. Apart from pests, moths play an integral role in the local ecosystems. They serve as food for other insect-eating predators. They are effective pollinators that serve a lot of plant species.

These are the most intriguing questions about moths you can listen to everywhere. In this article, you’ll be able to learn more about these dust particles. You would know whether they are harmful to humans, or not.

Are Moths Dangerous to Humans?


Is moth powder poisonous and dangerous not only to humans but to your pets as well? That’s because these small insects contaminate your food and different types of pet food, like dry pellets. The moths leave their feces and their cocoons on the foods. The cocoons are white in color which remains behind from the caterpillars.

Moths can infest your food and clothes you wear. As a result, it can lead to allergic reactions. Infestations by moths can cause mucosal irritations for humans, as well as for pets. If you or your pet consumes the food infested by moths, it can cause severe intestinal diseases.

Moths can be dangerous for humans when you think of eating them. But, some of them are quite non-toxic for human consumption. A few species though feeds on unpalatable or poisonous plants in the larvae stage where they essentially turn into moth caterpillars. Some of them even feed on milkweed that contains poisonous substances. These can impact your heart muscles.

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Is Moth Powder Poisonous for Your Eyes?

Is moth wing dust poisonous for your eyes? Some people believe that moth powder can make you blind. But, is this true? There is no scientific evidence that proves moth powder from their wings can cause severe damage to your eyes. The powder is nothing but the scales from their wings. So, can adult moths kill you?

There are certain poisonous chemicals present on the wings of some species. But, rest assured that they won’t make you blind. Yet, the dust may cause some irritation to your eyes. Is this is the case, you can take care of it with ease.

Makes sure to rinse your eyes with fresh and clean water. You can then clean the remaining dust by using an eye drops. However, don’t rub your eyes is you feel that the powder may still be in them. Properly cleanse your eyes without delay. If the problem still persists, it’s better to consult a physician for quality advice.

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Why Do They Have Dust on Their Wings?


Here are the reasons why moths have dust on their wings.


Because moths are mostly active during the night, they need to stay warm once the sun sets down. The dust or the scales provide a layer that helps the moth to stay warm in cold temperatures.

A butterfly makes use of their scales for thermoregulation, but moths have a thicker layer of scales. Without its ability to heat up more in the sunlight, moths usually require an extra layer of insulation.


Even though the colors are dull, moths need the right combination of patterns and colors to attract a partner. The male and female moths tend to follow pheromone trails that help them to find their mates with ease.

Yet, the visual cues are the ones that work wonders when they are very close to each other. With a lesser number of scales, a moth can still fly. But, when many of them are missing, they may not be able to find and attract a mate.


The scales, which are tiny hairs, helps the moths to create complex patterns on their wings. These patterns appear in black and brown colors that look dull. Most of the moths sleep during the daytime and flies at night.

Hence, they don’t need to have bright colors like butterflies. These dull colors help them to camouflage while they are resting during the day. This way, the color pattern allows them to blend as they sit on the tree branches or bushes.

What Makes Them So Dangerous for Your Home?

Moth infestations can develop at a rapid speed. Not only their numbers increase, but they do spread in any space. If there are holes, crevice, or cracks, moths find an entrance. That’s where they would take refuge. If you leave a tiny hole in your wall, you are inviting the moths.

The reason why moths are quite dangerous is that they have the ability to spread very fast. In addition to that, moths can invade almost every space. Apart from the holes or crakes, these pests find places to live which is not easy to access. That’s how they manage to get through screw threads.

This way, they can live in tiny space inside drill holes that aren’t completely filled. Foods that are inside vacuum-packed plastic aren’t safe from moths. This is because they can bite through thin foils, plastics, etc. Once a piece of food product gets infested in your cupboard, the moths spread very fast.

Even the front door is not considered as an obstacle for these pests. The lifetime of a mature moth is about 2 weeks. Despite this, it can travel a great amount of distance during this time. These tough insects move to different places quite fast.

From infested clothes, flour, pantry moths can spread at a fast rate. They have the capability to infest blocks and streets of houses and flats. What starts with a single infested grocery soon turns into a plague. The more you encounter these pests, the more are the chances you have to deal with their dust.

How Can You Make Your Home Free From Moths?

Now, that’s the most important part. How to get rid of these tough insects from your home is they already have created havoc in your living space. Here are some effective ways to deal with this situation.

Combine Herbs That Are Grounded, Crushed, and Dried

Make a combination of these herbs and keep them in a bag that you can hang anywhere near your clothes or food. Moths don’t like the odor of the herbs such as thyme, rosemary, cloves, bay leaves, and lavender. You can dilute their oils and spray them on the belongings and your clothes. A diffuser with combinations of these oils could even serve better.

Keep Your Carpets, Moldings, and Floors Dusted and Vacuumed

Clean your living space with eco-friendly cleaners, dusting cloths, or a vacuum to keep them dust-free. This way, it won’t allow moths to build their habitat in your home. Ensure those vacuum cleaners are emptied and dusting clothes properly washed to prevent the growing and development of eggs and larvae.

Wash Clothes Properly That Contain the Eggs or Larvae

Make use of high heat and hot water in your dryer is there are options. For clothes that you can’t wash or dry up, put those clothes in your freezer for about a day to kill the eggs and the larvae. Make sure you keep those clothes or belongings for a minimum of about 24 hours. That ensures the eggs and larvae are killed.

Make Use of a Vinegar Solution

You can use a water solution and vinegar to wash and scrub the areas where you have found the eggs or the larvae.

A Sticky Trap Would Be Useful

Cover the trap with moth pheromones so that it can attract them and get the moths stuck to its surface. When they are stuck, they can’t escape. This way, they would die after some time.

Spray Your Home With Cedar

Make use of cedar oil in a spray bottle and dilute it with water. You can use a diffuser that can outspread its scent. Moths are pushed back by the pheromones present in cedar.

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Is moth powder poisonous? Moth powder or dust can cause irritations, and overall are harmful to humans. Sometimes, prevention and removal techniques won’t work fine. And, it makes sense to hire some professionals. If you are struggling with a moth infestation at your home, contact Trappify today.

are a company specialized in flying insect pest control. We use eco-friendly and non-toxic materials to remove the infestations from your home. Frustrated by these small tough insects? Let Trappify help… Grab some Trappify Ultimate Moth Traps today! CLICK HERE

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