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Do you have a curiosity about whether or not all moths eat clothes? It’s a common question with a complex answer, but you may be surprised to know that many moths have specific food sources and habits. From chemical defenses to reproductive behavior, it is important to understand the unique needs and characteristics of moths to understand why they may or may not eat clothes. In this article, we will discuss all the necessary information related to clothing consumption by moths.

What Exactly Are Moths?

Moths are a large group of insects that belong to the taxonomic order Lepidoptera. They are closely related to butterflies, although moths typically have larger, furrier bodies and fewer vibrant colors. Moths can be found in a variety of sizes; some are as small as a pinhead while others have wingspans up to eleven inches across. Moths primarily survive on a variety of plant sources but can also consume sweet substances like fruit, sap, and honey.

Not all moths eat clothes. There are many moths that have specific food sources such as plant matter and sweet substances. Clothes eating moths, known as clothes moths, have adapted to consume clothes materials like wool and fur. These species are attracted to the natural proteins present in these materials and their larvae often feed on the delicate fibers. Clothes moths generally have an opportunistic feeding behavior—if clothing materials are available, they will likely consume them.

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Types of Clothes Moths

Case-Bearing Clothes Moth

The most common type of clothes moth is the case-bearing clothes moth. This species builds a tube of silk and bits of fabric around itself as it feeds. It is small, about half an inch in length, and is usually yellowish-brown or white.

Webbing Clothes Moth

The webbing clothes moth is similar in size to the case-bearing clothes moth, but has a more golden-brown color to it. This species builds tunnels or webs of silk or fabric and is often found in dark areas like wardrobes, closets, and carpets.

Common Larger Tapestry Moth

The common larger tapestry moth, also known as the carpet moth, is a larger species of clothes moth. It is one of the biggest species of moth in the family, reaching up to three centimeters in length. These moths can cause substantial damage to fabric, furniture, and carpets if left uncontrolled.

Preventing and Treating Clothes Moths

Freezing Clothing

To kill clothes moth larvae, clothing can be frozen at temperatures of -20 degrees Celcius and below for at least four days. Once clothing has been frozen and removed, any residual larvae should be vacuumed to remove any loose hairs.

Vacuuming Furniture and Carpets

Vacuuming furniture and carpets can remove most clothes moths and their eggs. Furniture and carpets should be vacuumed weekly to remove lingering moths, eggs, and larvae. Vacuuming crevices and corners of closets and furniture can also help reduce the number of moths in the home.


The use of insecticides is not recommended for clothes moths but may be useful for treating furniture and carpets. Pesticides containing pyrethroids can be effective in reducing the number of larvae and eggs but should be used with caution in well-ventilated areas.

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People Also Ask

What Do Moths Eat Other Than Clothes?

Moths tend to consume plant matter such as grasses and cereals, but can also feed on sweet substances such as fruit, sap, and honey.

What Colors Attract Moths?

Moths are more attracted to light than they are to any particular color. However, they may be drawn to pale yellows, blues, and whites.

Do Moths Bite?

Moths do not have the capability to bite, as they lack mandibles and well-developed jaws.

Are Moths Dangerous?

No, moths are not dangerous to humans. They can be a nuisance in the home due to their ability to damage clothes and furniture.

Do Moths Fly During the Day?

Moths typically only fly during the night in order to avoid predators. However, some species may be active during the day.

Final Words

Moths have a diverse diet that depends on their species and environment. Clothes moths have adapted to consume materials found in clothing and furniture, making them a nuisance in the home. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to prevent and treat clothes moth infestations. Understanding more about different types of moths and their habits can help people reduce their risk of an infestation.