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Identify your fabric pest below

Identify your fabric pest below
There are a wide range of clothes moth, stored product moth and fabric feeding beetles that can affect the home.
We focus on the main pests within this list and accept that there are other fabric pests which we may not mention due to rare encounters.


Webbing Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella)

Webbing Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella)

Description:
The Common Webbing Clothes Moth (tineola biselliella) has a 10-15mm wingspan, upper forewing is a pale shiny golden colour with reddish tufts of hair on the head.
Distribution:
The clothes month is common throughout the UK, attacking natural fibres, for example wool, fur, skins and leather.
Life cycle:
Eggs are laid amongst fibres or scattered at random. Each female lays up to 160 eggs during a period of 2-3 weeks. During the summer these hatch in 10-14 days producing an active, white translucent larva. This larvae grows up to 10mm in length and the head becomes darker in coulour during this process. Feeding tunnels may be constructed from self produced silken webbing, the larvae will also moult around 5 times. Larvae construct a tough silken coccoon in which they moult to produce a pupa up to 7mm long. The full cycle takes between 88-254 days depending on ambient temperature and environmental conditions.
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Case Bearing Carpet Moth (Tinea pellionella)

Case Bearing Carpet Moth (Tinea pellionella)

Description:
The Case Bearing (Carpet) Moth (Tinea pellionella) and also known as the Case Making Clothes Moth, is approximately 5-7mm in length with 15mm wingspan.The adult is smaller than the Webbing Clothes Moth (Common Clothes Moth) and is more brown-grey than golden. It is also identified by three small dark spots on its wings, however, these wear off with age. Males are smaller and lighter in colour than the females and fly around looking for mating partners.
Females tend to be more sluggish and fly very little. Larval stages of the moth have a mid to dark brown head and first thorasic segment which darkens with age. This larvae can be observed poking their heads out of small capsules that they construct to protect themselves. The capsules look like cooked long grain rice and often take on the colour of the carpet that is being eaten (they use small fibres of the carpet in the coccoon construction). There are usually tens of these around the infested area, which will be under furniture of adjacent external walls where the carpet is moy moist than adjacent internal walls
Distribution:
The Case Making Carpet Moth is found throughout the UK and is commonly found infesting carpets and fabric/natural floor coverings causing extensive damage. The damage is normally under or behind furniture that is not regularly moved or cleaned under.
Life Cycle:
Adults tend to live around 30 days and females lay between 100-300 eggs during this period. The larval stage (which creates a silken case in which to live) lasts around 50 days after which the moth uses its case in which to pupate. Whilst growing, the moth larvae can move around within its case and feed from either end, prior to pupation the larva seals both ends of the pupal case and spends from 20-50 days(depending on environment) transforming to the adult stage at which point it chews its way out of the pupal case and flies off.
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Brown House Moth (Hofmannnophila-pseudospretella)

Brown House Moth (Hofmannnophila-pseudospretella)

The Brown House Moth is distributed throughout the UK but is not found to be a pest in such numbers as the Commone Clothes Moth or Carpet Moth.
It is a species of the concealer moth family (Oecophoridae), wherein it belongs to sub-family Oecophorinae.

The adult is a bronze-brown flecked colour and lays up to 600 eggs at a sitting!
The wingspan is 15-26 mm. The adults fly all year round but are less active in winter months, in summer they can be found outdoors and this is usually the source of an infestation in your home. Total lifespan from egg to adult can be up to a year.

Larvae are glossy creamy white with a brown head, usually up to 18mm long overall. They will spin a cocoon in the food source and hide within it.

The caterpillars (larvae) feed on organic detritus that accumulates indoors, e.g. behind skirting boards and other similar places. Attacked foodstuffs are for example cereals, including maize, oatmeal, pearl barley and rice other seeds, potatoes, furs and dog biscuits.

Brown House Moth are not a significant pest of fabrics, more active around spilled or poorly stored foodstuffs, or fibres of wool and other fabrics that may have collected in uncleaned areas.
White Shouldered House Moth (Endrosis sarcitrella )

White Shouldered House Moth (Endrosis sarcitrella )

Description:
This moth is a fairly common species, found almost worldwide. Wingspan is generally from 15-21mm It occurs regularly inside buildings, and is able to reproduce all year round in heated properties in the UK. It frequents light sources, and can be found in outbuildings where dried food such as grain, or old woollen materials are kept. It is sometimes located in birds nests.
The larva is a small grub-like caterpillar and lives mainly on dry plant and animal debris, where it spins itself a small silken hideout. This moth will attack foodstuffs more generally than clothing and its preferences include dried fruits, cereals and other seeds, potatoes, wool and textiles, dead insect bodies and even guano.
Distribution:
The White Shouldered House Moth is found throughout the UK but our experience is that it is not as active or widespread as the two major moth pests, Webbing Clothes Moth or Case Bearing Carpet Moth.
Life Cycle:
There is little information on the life cycle of this moth. From egg to adult will take several months and will be dependent on the environmental conditions where the eggs are laid.
Carpet Beetle (Varied and Black)

Carpet Beetle (Varied and Black)

Description:
Black Carpet Beetle
The adult is 2.8 to 5 mm long, black to reddish brown and covered with short, sparse pubescence
The larvae of the black carpet beetle, which may reach 12.7 mm in length, are very different from other carpet beetles’ larvae. They are elongate, carrot-shaped, golden to chocolate brown, and have a tuft of very long, curled, golden-brown hair at the tail end of their body.

Life History:
The small, pearly-white egg can be deposited in the lint around skirtings, in the ductwork of hot-air heating systems, on wool clothing in storage, and in similar protected locations. The egg hatches in 6 to 11 days in warm weather, but may require an additional 5 to 16 days under cooler conditions.

The newly hatched larvae scavenge for food (they will eat dander, hair, and other small bits of food high in protein), avoid light, and move so slowly that they appear to be gliding. At room temperature, the larval life span ranges from 258 to 639 days. This variation is due largely to fluctuations in temperature, food quality, and relative humidity. The larvae may molt 5 to 11 times, and up to 20 times when conditions are unfavorable. The larval skins often are mistaken for the larvae themselves. The Black Carpet Beetle larvae pupate in the last larval skin, and the pupal period may extend from 6 to 24 days. The beetles may remain in the partially shed pupal skin from 2 to 20 days before emerging. Black carpet beetles usually overwinter in the larval stage.

Adults may live from 2 weeks to several months, but cause no damage in this stage. Unlike the larvae, they are attracted to light. They are active and often can be found around windows and outdoors on flowers, feeding on pollen in spring and summertime. The females commence egg laying in dark secluded places less than one week after emergence. A female can lay from 42 to 114 eggs, and averages around 50; she generally dies a few days after oviposition.

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