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Clothes Moths

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The webbing clothes moth, Tineola bisselliella, and casemaking clothes moth, Tinea pellionella, can be fabric pests in California. They tend to hide when disturbed, an infestation may not be noticed after the moths have already damaged fabric, fur, or feathered items. Close examination of the objects will reveal silken webs the larvae have spun.

Clothes moths feed exclusively on animal fibers, especially wool, fur, silk, feathers, felt, and leather. These materials contain keratin, a fibrous protein that the worm-like larvae of the clothes moth can digest. (In nature, the larvae feed on the nesting materials or carcasses of birds and mammals.) Cotton and synthetic fabrics such as polyester and rayon are rarely attacked unless blended with wool, or heavily soiled with food stains or body oils. Serious infestations of clothes moths can develop undetected in dwellings, causing irreparable harm to vulnerable materials

This course has been approved for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by the California Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB) for license renewal. After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Understand basic clothes moth facts.
  • Identify clothes moth identification and lifecycle in order to ensure proper treatment and follow-up.
  • Recognize clothes moth damage in order to target treatments.
  • Develop and implement a clothes moth management program.
  • Know how to prevent future infestations and communicate with customers.
  • Identify At-Risk Groups to increase treatment effectiveness.
  • Understand how to treat Special situations.