Getting to Know the Clothes Moth & How to Keep Him Out of Your Closet

Posted by Rita Stadler

Sep 22, 2015 10:14:00 AM

Sharing your closet with a close friend can double your options and keep you at the height of style, but sharing your closet with the clothes moth can take a real bite out of your wardrobe budget. That doesn’t mean the little moth is a monster, just that he’s not a great houseguest. Take a few moments to listen to what he likes, dislikes, and is attracted to, so you can make sure you never invite him in.

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About me (Tineola bisselliella)

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Likes:

  • Mood lighting -- I’m not like those other moths, you know, the ones that are always drawn to the flame (or light bulb, whatever). I’m cool with dim or dark settings because they give us plenty of privacy if you know what I mean.
  • Dirty laundry -- Natural fibers like wool, fur, and silk are pretty good, but I’ll be happy with anything you wore and forgot to wash. Soiled fabric with sweat stains, food spills, or other messes can all give me the protein I need.
  • Antique upholstery and vintage fashion -- It’s not a love of history that makes old things so attractive to me, it’s just because they are seldom used or laundered, so I can eat in peace. 

Dislikes:

  • Bright lights -- I’m not antisocial, I’m just really shy. Dark places make me feel safe; I know no one will bother me in the storage closet or under the seams of a silk ottoman.
  • Extremes -- Some like it hot, but I do not. I prefer a comfortable 75° with around 70-75% humidity. I can survive if things are a little warmer or cooler, but it really slows down my development and just like you, anything too hot or too cold means the end for me.
  • The great outdoors -- If you can’t already tell, I’m really more of a homebody than an explorer. The worst thing about outside is all the strong smells! Most of my body is covered in scent receptors, which is great for finding food or a mate, but I can be easily overwhelmed.
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Hobbies:

  • Keeping quiet -- Seriously, I only use my mouth for eating, and that’s just while I’m a little larva. My mouthparts atrophy while I am making the final transition to adulthood, so you know I’ll never tell anyone about that dirty laundry you hide in your closet!
  • Walking, not flying -- Just because I have wings doesn’t mean I fly. Think of me as the penguin of the insect world.
  • Waiting patiently -- I’m really hard to get rid of. It’s not that I can’t take a hint, it’s just that I know what I like. In unfavorable conditions, I won’t just wither and die, I can slow down my development and wait for things to get better.

What am I looking for?

I hope to find a fashionista with a love of lush fabrics to match my own. I dream of a closet overflowing with wool pea coats, vintage furs, silk scarves and more! Hopefully, the closet is packed so full, no one will notice little old me nestled into the back corner.

What I’m NOT looking for?

I really hate people who are always thinking ahead. I mean, what’s so great about having all of those fancy fabrics anyway if all you’re going to do is send them away to the dry cleaners all the time? Seriously, who has the time to keep up with all the laundry, and the vacuuming, and the proper seasonal storage of winter coats and summer swimwear? Sure, some people say, “prevention is the best medicine,” but quoting Benjamin Franklin doesn’t make you smart. To be honest, I think they’re totally lame.

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Editor’s Note:  There is nothing lame about preventing moths. If you, or anyone you know needs help getting rid of moths, visit our Learning Center for more information. Stay Away® Moths is a safe and effective natural moth repellent, and it will work for you, guaranteed!

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Topics: Pest Control

Rita Stadler
Rita lives in Central Florida and has been a member of Team earthkind since 2010. When not writing about ways to preserve the good and prevent the rest, her 4 children keep her busy. She can be found sharing mouse jokes on Twitter @earthkind and answering to calls of "MOM!" from any kid within a 25 foot radius.

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