Moths may not seem like harmful insects on first thought, but they can wreak havoc on your food and clothes. At home, it's important to control insect populations before they become a problem. While one or two moths may not be an issue, swarms of them can easily ruin your day. That said, there are many different species of moths and each has its own unique habits. One species may leave you alone while others just want to munch on your wardrobe or breakfast cereal.
Start with clothes moths - these are typically a member of the Tinea pellionella species, which are small and have white or light tan wings according to the University of California. These moths are typically about 1/4 inch in length, or half the size of grain eating moths. If you notice small holes with ragged edges in your clothing, it could be a sign that these moths have gotten into your closet.
Here's how they damage your fabrics: The adult moth lays its eggs in or around the clothes, then, when the eggs hatch the moth larvae begin to eat the material. Small infestations can typically be controlled by using mothballs purchased at the store. Larger infestations - such as those in a secondhand clothing store - may require larger steps. If the infestation is out of control, it's recommended that you call a professional pest control service.
Has someone been eating your cereal? There are a number of creatures that could potentially sneak into your kitchen and munch on your grain goodies. Because dry products like grains, cereals, flour and oats stay fresh for a long time, many people tend to forget about them for long periods of time. Then, when they need the ingredients, it turns out the bugs have already gotten into them. At that point, the food is no longer safe to consume and should be thrown away.
According to the University of Minnesota, grain moths usually enter the home through packaged goods. While it seems unlikely that you would bring home a pest in your bag of flour, the bugs can sometimes get through the cracks. Always check your purchases for signs of pests before bringing them home. Once inside, they could spread to other products. Removing tainted products and vacuuming the shelves are great ways of controlling grain moth infestations.