Clothes Moths are well-known as pests of stored woolens, but they will eat a wide range of other fibers including hair, fur, silk, felt and feathers. Serious infestations of clothes moths can develop undetected in a home, causing significant damage to clothing, bedding, floor coverings and other articles. The most common species is the Webbing Clothes Moth. As the name implies, the larvae spin a silk webbing across the surface of the food material and feed under this “silk canopy”.
Clothes moths are not attracted to lights and tend to remain hidden in the folds of materials that they are feeding on. A favorite hiding spot is under heavy furniture that is sitting on carpeting and is generally never moved. The moths will consume the carpet and carpet padding (if it is a natural fiber such as wool) and just leave the outline or “foot print” of the furniture in the remains of the carpet.
Clothes moths will also be found in the nests of birds that have become established in the attic of a home. In the nest they feed on feathers and other debris that the birds use to construct their nests. When the birds leave, the larvae may migrate into the home or continue their feeding on items stored in the attic.