Webbing Clothes Moth Control


Size: Adult moths are about ¼” long, with a ½” wingspan. Larvae are around ¼ to ½” long and “pill” shaped.

Color: Adults moths are gold, wheat-yellow, or tan with small red-gold hairs on their heads. Wings are slightly lighter in color, and have small golden hairs spanning their length. The lower pair of legs tend to be lighter than the upper pair. Larvae are white or off-white with brown or black heads.

A Webbing Clothes Moth on a white background.

Clothes Moth Control and Prevention

Consider storing all hanging garments in sealed plastic clothing protectors. Take special care to store fabric made of natural fibers in airtight, sealable containers. Store any clothing you don’t wear frequently in hard plastic, airtight containers to prevent moths from accessing them. Make sure the areas where you store your clothing are dry.

If you find an infestation, consider disposing of all obviously infested materials immediately. Wash all the fabrics you stored in the same location as the infested material and dry it on the high setting for at least 20 minutes. Transfer the clothing into plastic protectors immediately after washing it.

Webbing Clothes Moth Identification

Behavior and Diet

Webbing clothes larvae feed on natural fibers such as human hair, rodent hair, wool, fur, and feathers. They don’t usually feed on synthetic fabric or cotton, but they may start if that fabric contains human perspiration or body oils.

Adult moths do not feed. Instead, they simply mate, deposit eggs on food sources, and die shortly thereafter. Both adult and larval webbing clothes moths are nocturnal. They feed, mate, and locate food sources at night and hide during the day.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Female adult fabric moths lay an average of 40 to 50 eggs on promising food sources and die shortly thereafter. The time it takes to hatch is based on the temperature of their environment. In warm environments, the eggs could hatch 4 to 10 days.

After hatching, larvae begin feeding and growing immediately. As larvae grow, they will molt continuously up to 45 times. Depending on temperature and food availability, moths could remain larvae for only 35 days or up to 2 and a half years. After they’ve finally eaten and grown enough, larvae pupate inside silk cocoons. Pupation takes between 1 and 4 weeks newly emerged adult moths are ready to mate immediately.

Other Characteristics

Unlike many other moth species, webbing clothes moths are not particularly capable fliers. They only fly for short distances and tend to stay in place longer than most moths.

Webbing clothes moths are not attracted to light. In fact, they tend to actively avoid well-lit areas and seek out dark, secluded hiding places instead.

Moth larvae often incorporate their pupal cases in the fabric or fur they’re feeding on. You may find pupae in silk cases on infested clothing.

More Information

Penn State Department of Entomology “Clothes Moth” Fact Sheet

University of California Integrated Pest Management Program “Clothes Moths” Pest Management info

MuseumPests.net’s “Casemaking clothes moth” Fact Sheet