A Glimpse Into Clothes Moths

The most prevalent fabric destroying insects in the United States include two clothes moths: webbing clothes moths and the case making clothes moths.
After damage to fabric is discovered, it may take some detective work to determine the culprit. The insect pest is usually no longer present when the damage is found. To properly determine the pest, an investigator should make notes of the following clues:

• Look for live or dead insects. Live insects may be hard to find because these pests avoid the light, hiding in the folds of the fabric or in the cracks and crevices of closets.
• Look for cast skins, insect fragments and products. Cast skins of larvae are often found with damaged fabric or fur. Clothes moths will often leave silken webbing, cases or pupae in the damaged fabrics.
• Type of fabric. Carpet beetles and clothes moths can digest keratin, a component of animal hair, which includes wool, fur and feathers. Fabric made of wool blends or silk may also be damaged.

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