Common clothes moth 
(Tineola bisselliella)



The clothes moth is a significant pest, the larvae feeding on a wide variety of material of animal origin such 
as woollens, furs, etc. Damage from larval feeding can be severe and the larvae are often difficult to detect
 since they shun the light.

Outdoors, adults are on the wing from May to September. Indoors, adults are found all year round.


Our treatment for moths consists of tracing the source of infestation, removing and destroying any infested foodstuffs and 
then applying a residual insecticide to infested areas.

We always take care  to select a non-staining insecticide if soft furnishings are to be treated. Additionally, an ultra-low volume application of insecticide can prove effective. We often use monitoring traps to  aid in determining the level of infestation.

Whilst there is no difficulty in controlling these moths, it is essential that a thorough treatment be carried out
 and that every possible larval development site is treated.

They may be found in association with birds’ and mammals’ nests, therefore these possibilities should also be
 checked when tracing the source of the infestation.

So, if you have a problem with clothes moths in your home in Derby or Nottingham just call CSS and we will come and deal with it for you. Tel 0800 254 5003.

Key Features

The adult moth has a body length of between 6 and
 8 mm and a wingspan of 9 to 16 mm.

The upper side of the fore wings is buff, nearly 
golden, in colour. Both pairs of wings have fringed 

Adults are rarely seen in flight, mostly just the
 males, and then the females after they have deposited
 their eggs.

The larva is yellowish white in colour with a brown 
head and measures around 10 mm in length when 
fully mature.


The adult female lays eggs, (between 50 and 100), amongst the material upon which the larvae will feed.

The larva emerges from the egg and proceeds to feed. Whilst feeding, the larva of the clothes moth frequently
constructs a loose silken “shelter” which has attached to it many particles of debris and faecal pellets etc.
 Once mature, the larva pupates.

The pupa is reddish brown in colour. There is a certain amount of mobility in the abdomen of the pupa and 
it twitches if disturbed.

When the adult emerges from the pupal case they live as a moth for around 2 – 3 weeks.

In common with other insects, development times are influenced by temperature, relative humidity, moisture
content, quantity and quality of food. Total life cycle at 23.5°C and 50% relative humidity takes 63 days.

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