Site about the fight against domestic insects

What is eating clothes and food moths

Разберемся, что моль ест в наших квартирах и какие продукты питания она предпочитает

Mole is not only a pest of clothes and carpets. In the family of these butterflies, there are "gourmets" specializing in a wide variety of food products, and if you collect several copies of what the moth eats in one place, there will not be enough of a huge hangar.

The menu of moths of different kinds includes a wide variety of food products: cereals, flour, bread, fruits and vegetables, textiles, wool and feathers of almost any animal, and even wax and ant larvae.

Всевозможные крупы - излюбленная еда пищевой моли

Личинки пищевой моли также едят орехи, сухофрукты и сушеные ягоды

Платяная моль питается волокнами из натуральных материалов

If we talk about butterflies inhabiting home wardrobes, then we can say simply: the moth feeds on any tissues containing natural raw materials (wool, feathers, cotton, linen, etc.). This is her specialization, inherited from the wild ancestors, and this uniqueness in eating makes the moth a very dangerous pest of our apartments.

Mole and its diet

Mole is not a product of civilization and light industry. All kinds of moths that damage clothes in cabinets, carpets on the wall and upholstery of furniture, not only do not limit themselves to the walls of human habitation, but also actively live and thrive in nature.

A moth, outside the apartments and houses, lays eggs in the nests of birds and rodents. Here the moth larvae feed on crumbling wool or feathers from the owners of the nests. However, such a diet is very scarce, and a constant change in the temperature regime does not allow the butterflies to reproduce at too high a rate - they have to spend the winter in the form of a pupa.

На фото видны платяная моль и ее личинка

The other moth, which is harmful to humans, is food, fed on seeds and nuts in nature. She can also eat stocks of rodents and ants. It is no wonder that in nature these kinds of moles are tied to the steppe and forest-steppe zone, where a large number of animals and insects make their stores for the winter.

It is interesting

The food moth does not eat clothes, and if large quantities of butterflies emerge from the groats or flour in the kitchen, you can not worry about the wardrobe with linens. The food moth eats only cereals, dried fruits, nuts, flour, sugar, dry bread - foods that people eat.

Once in the dwelling of a person, the moth did not change habits. Only here instead of accidentally falling hair and feathers in front of her stretched "endless fields" of wool, fur and cotton fabrics, no less nutritious and tasty.

Getting on a shelf with fur, the moth eats a fur coat, neatly pruning the hairs, crushing them and swallowing. When she needs to move, but she is not hungry, the larva just cuts her hair on the fur coat, but does not eat them, leaving a neat path in the way of her travel. Once in a closet with woolen things, the moth eats the wool in the same way as it chewed it in the steppes in the burrows of marmots.

In the photo below, the moth larva eats fur on a fur coat:

Личинка моли ест шубу

Textiles and furniture are parasitized by other types of moths, the larvae of which are adapted to eating exactly such specific foods. It is characteristic that all the larvae of moths are distinguished by their tendency to weave silk skirts. In some species these cases are simple and thin, in others they are thoroughly made and very durable.

On a note

Clothing and food products are consumed only by moth larvae. Adult butterflies are not able to eat or gnaw anything - they have not developed not only the oral apparatus, but also the digestive organs. The task of adult butterflies is to multiply.

The moth eats clothes randomly and does not have any particularly favorite sites and places. Holes on a sweater or tracks on a fur coat can appear in unexpected places and in quantities that depend only on the number of larvae in contaminated clothing.

Личинки моли, питаясь одеждой, могут очень быстро приводить ее в негодность

But if the moth harms the clothes quite leisurely, then the food moth reproduces in the room at an accelerated rate: its diet is more nutritious, and its larvae grow faster and pupate. Accordingly, the cycle from butterfly to butterfly, from caterpillar to caterpillar, can take place in food moths in 3-4 months, while for moths this process takes at least six months.

The constant companion of man

The human dwelling is much more attractive for moths than any natural biotopes. There are three important reasons for this:

  • in a person's housing there is always a lot of easily accessible provisions
  • in the house or apartment is constantly maintained an unchanged and optimal for almost all types of moth microclimate
  • in the human dwelling there are practically no natural natural enemies of moth.

The best eggs, larvae and pupae of moth develop at a temperature within 23-25 ​​° C. At the same temperatures, the person feels comfortable too. Not surprisingly, this butterfly always prefers to be a roommate. Even in the winter hibernation in the form of a pupa, insects do not need to fall: put it on a boot, pupate, for a few days turned into a butterfly and proceeded to further reproduction.

Личинка платяной моли в чехольчике

In such comfortable conditions, the moth can even do less attractive and nutritious food than the one that she used to consume in the wild.

Like a moth is harming clothes

There are facts that the moth "beats" even synthetic clothes. Before considering this as nonsense, you should first carefully study the composition of the synthetics.

Even a moth will not eat pure synthetics - the larva is incapable of digesting kapron or, for example, polypropylene fibers. However, if a thing is made of a mixture of synthetic and natural materials (which people still call "synthetics"), the larva will be content with nutrients from such a product.

Моль ест и полусинтетические ткани

It is interesting

Some synthetic materials in the stomach in the caterpillar are not digested, but safely pass "through" through the digestive tract. The more synthetics in the tissue eaten by the caterpillar, the less nutrients the larvae receives, the slower it grows. Accordingly, on modern "breads" the development cycle of moths can even stretch for almost half a year even under optimal temperature conditions.


"What would have to do with this filth. A natural woolen sweater hung on a trembler, knitted by hands - but no, the moth had thoroughly beaten the cockerel "Sport", completely synthetic. "

Oleg, Kurgan

The moth larva that emerges from the egg does not tend to move away from the place of appearance. Usually it eats as much tissue or wool around itself, several times sheds and pinches here. Cheholchik around her body, especially tight, even more disposes to this way of life.

But sometimes caterpillars, especially young ones, move within the closet to large enough distances for themselves, moving from newly acquired things to already managed to hang. Therefore, it is necessary to destroy the mole either on the approaches to the cabinet, or at the first signs of its appearance.

Destruction of pests in cabinets

The main symptoms of infection of the wardrobe moth are as follows:

  • incomprehensible nature of damage to clothing
  • small pieces of cobweb on clothing and cabinet walls
  • Butterflies are moths, not only in the closet, but in the apartment in general.

No matter what the housewives said in entomology say, it is necessary to destroy the moth in all its forms and stages. Even a butterfly flying around the room, though not eating clothes, but involved in reproduction. And consequently, will give the owner of the cabinet from a few dozen to several hundred larvae.

Хотя одежду портят личинки моли, бороться нужно также и со взрослыми ее особями - бабочками

Butterflies are easiest to destroy manually - they are few. Larvae can be destroyed in several ways:

  • diligently shaking out clothes
  • roasting things in the sun
  • washing clothes at a water temperature above 50 ° C
  • treatment and clothing, and the cabinet with insecticidal aerosols.

It is important to understand that scare moles with lavender, sections, orange peels or soap is possible only after the larvae and butterflies are destroyed, already in the closet inhabiting. The caterpillar can not scare away such means - they have nowhere to run - but to their descendants they can leave resistance to such repellents.

Protection of clothes from moths

To protect things from moths there are a large number of means:

  • special sections with scaring fragrances
  • essential oils
  • crushed lavender flowers
  • orange peel
  • economic or strawberry soap, pieces of which are laid out in the corners of the cabinet and pockets of clothing
  • tobacco

... and many other means.

Отпугивающие средства не всегда эффективны против моли

It is important to understand that their effectiveness is not very high. If the mole was brought with clothes into a sheltered closet, she would have no choice but to endure the smell and continue to live and eat. Therefore, the best way to protect clothes from moths is the direct destruction of insects and careful checking and processing of purchased things.

If you decide to fight the moth yourself, then we recommend using only proven tools that have shown their high efficiency:

To the record "What is eating clothes and food moth" left 2 comments.
  1. Anna :

    I have a question about moths: how can moles be removed in other ways?

    • Anonymous :

      Can be burned together with the cabinet. Radically, but simply. You can move and forget about it, because because of old bad habits, another mole, in a new place, will not find its way into your closet.

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