Moth larvae are the same pests that spoil clothes, "shear" furs and leave ugly bald spots on almost any natural textiles. Butterflies moths can not spoil clothes: they do not have a mouthpiece at all, and they do not eat at all during their entire adult life. However, it is the butterflies that lay eggs, from which the offspring are quickly removed. And every moth larva is, you can say, a few new holes in woolen clothes or bald patch on fur.
It is interesting
Myth is the statement that moths do not have wings. All of them are winged, although their bodies for flight are slightly smaller than those of males. Another thing is that females practically do not use wings, and butterflies flying around the room are, in fact, exclusively males.
The larva of domestic moths can spoil not only clothes. Moles capable of living and reproducing in a human dwelling are hundreds of species, and each of them has its own food specialization. Larvae of domestic moths can eat fur and fabrics, flour, cereals, dried fruits, bread, nuts, pet food - almost any organic products.
But the larvae of moths in photos and live look all the same, and only the experienced gaze of a professional entomologist can find the difference between caterpillars of moths of different species.
Appearance and characteristics of larvae of moths
Live and in the photo larvae of moths are small white or with a light yellow shade of the caterpillar. Whatever species the moth belongs to, its larvae have powerful gnawing jaws and a clearly discernible brown head. The picture below shows the larva of the moth:
In most species, moth larvae look like small worms, but this comparison is not entirely correct - real worms have no limbs, and the caterpillar moth, like any other insect, has six pairs of tiny feet.
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In the body of the caterpillar, moths are more individual muscles than in the human body. This allows the pest to actively move and eat effectively.
The food moth larva looks almost the same as the larva of the moth. However, the caterpillar of the pest will never feed in flour or croup, and vice versa: a food moth, for example, is called several species of butterfly-fires whose caterpillars are unable to feed on textiles. Below you can see in the photo how the larvae of the amber food moth - the known pest of food:
For clothing, furniture, carpet and fur moths, it is characteristic that their larvae make for themselves a case - a small cocoon from their own silk-like substance and the remains of damaged tissues, which the caterpillar puts on itself and with which it moves for short distances. And in furniture moths, the larva even makes for herself a whole house in the form of a tunnel made of silk, leftovers of food and excrement:
Similar cocoons are created by food moth larvae. In the photo - a flour spoiled by fire. There are lumps that are cocooned with flour:
On a note
From the larva of the kozheed larva carpet or furniture moth is very good. Any larva of the kozheed is covered with long hairs and usually has a dark color of the skin. Next on the photo is presented the larva of the kozheed, and below - the larva of the carpet moth. In addition, the larvae of the kozheed are well distinguished by their "temperament": they are very mobile and quickly creep.
Growth and lifestyles of larvae
The timing of development of larvae of different species is different and depends not only on the biology of the species, but also on the conditions of their habitat. The optimum temperature for the development of larvae of clothing and furniture moth is 23-25 ° C. In these conditions, the development of the larva of moths in a fur coat lasts about 90 days, and the total cycle from egg to egg is up to six months.
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At a temperature of about 30 ° C, the larva of the moth under normal nutrition has time to develop in two months, and at a temperature of 13 ° C it will take about 190 days.
At temperatures below 13 ° C and above 30 ° C, moth eggs do not develop, and the larvae die. Approximately at the same temperature intervals, the larva of food moth can develop, but its growth occurs much more quickly due to greater nutritional value of the food. At a sufficiently high temperature, the larva of the granary fire pupates a month after exiting the egg. During its development the moth caterpillar experiences 4 molts. Therefore, it is common for entomologists to talk about five instar larvae. In the photo below - the caterpillar moths of the last age:
Larvae of moths are inactive and rarely move long distances. Females lay eggs either on the feed itself for their offspring, or in close proximity to it, and the larvae after hatching can only eat and grow. In this case, the youngest larvae can crawl to a sufficiently large distance from the hatching site.
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Larvae of fur moths are typical pests. Many of them, moving around the fur, just bite the hairs, but do not eat them, and as a result leave visible tracks on the fur clothes.
Below in the photo is a larva with a case and an adult butterfly moth on a piece of cloth.
Larvae of almost all types of moths try to avoid illuminated surfaces. Only in some firing caterpillars are selected from the feeding places to pupate in the open space. The larvae of moths on the ceiling are precisely the caterpillars of the fires. In the photo below - larvae of moths in the rump:
Feeding of caterpillars moths
Larvae of different types of moth can eat a huge assortment of food products. In nature, these insects feed on mammal hair and feathers of birds in their nests, can develop on the skins of dead animals, affect crops, fruits, nuts, berries and vegetables.
However, human dwellings are preferable to these insects due to the constant microclimate and the unchanged availability of food. That is why larvae of domestic moths are found on food in much larger quantities than in nature. Pests are also such types of moths that do not harm things or furniture. For example, larvae of bees moths eat wax honeycombs, honey and pergue. And larvae of moths parasitizing in the ants' dwellings, can eat the larvae of the ants themselves.
However, most of the butterflies in this group do not have a narrow specialization. The larvae of each type of fire can eat almost any food, and the same moth can easily switch from cotton to wool and vice versa. In the photo - holes in the sweater, which left the larvae of domestic moths:
Moreover, there are cases when moth larvae spoiled even semi-synthetic garments.
Moth larvae as the main pests of clothing
Clothing, upholstery furniture, carpets - quite convenient food for larvae of moths. If the materials consist of a natural tissue, it is not important, woolen or cotton, the stomach of any larva will digest it. In addition, the oldest things are preferable to caterpillars, as the fabric and nap on them are more easily broken by the jaws of the caterpillar. Each caterpillar can eat very little tissue. For example, minor damage to carpets can be externally and not noticeable. But because of the large number of larvae in each brood, they practically simultaneously leave several injuries, which are already well discernible.
And the garments themselves, which featured a characteristic hole, are no longer considered to be worn. The mole spreads between houses and apartments, usually by the person himself. These butterflies are not able to fly over long distances, and the owner of the apartment usually brings larvae to the house on the clothes they bought, and already these larvae give rise to a new micropopulation. This is especially true for second-hand clothes and old carpets from relatives, on which larvae of carpet moths travel. Moth larvae, respectively, "travel" with food.
Fighting the larvae of moths in the house
Fighting with larvae moths is difficult enough, although nothing particularly tricky in this. The larvae of the wardrobe and furniture moths can be easily removed by treating the clothes, furniture and carpets with special insecticidal aerosols. After this, things are washed, and the furniture is thoroughly wiped with a damp rag.
Larvae of the pest are usually poorly adhered to clothing, and therefore, when shaken out in the bulk of their poured on the floor. They will perish when heating things in the sun at a temperature above 35 ° C. In the optimal case, the larvae of moths need to be removed by operations in the following sequence:
- Shaking carefully all the clothes.
- Warming clothes in the sun or washing it in a washing machine at a temperature of more than 50 ° C - kill the larvae of moths is most effective is the temperature
- By treating clothes and cabinets with aerosol insecticides (Antimol, Armol, Raptor from moths or others)
- Only after the complete destruction of moths use deterrents - sections from moths, lavender , essential oils, fumigators.
With food moths, it's more difficult to fight. To destroy larvae of food moth insecticides and it is impossible at all (the poison will get to products), it is possible only:
- Throw out all foods in which there are larvae.
- Destroy mechanically (tapkom or fly swatter) flying butterflies.
- To treat cabinets and bedside tables with aerosol insecticides.
- Buy in the future products in quantities that are eaten in a week.
Effective means of preventing moths from entering the apartment is to wash new things and carefully check the food they buy. In a different way to fight the larvae, moths, because of their universality and ability to live even on extremely meager rations, have not yet learned. However, these methods will already be enough to protect their home from harmful butterflies and their caterpillars. It is important to remember that a moth is not only a pest. Even her caterpillars man has learned to use for his own good. For example, the larva of burdock moth is an excellent bait for winter fishing, the wax fire caterpillar is an almost perfect live food for exotic frogs kept in terrariums, and tincture from wax moth larvae is known as a remedy for tuberculosis and stroke.
And in general, in nature, a mole is a necessary participant in many biocenoses, and therefore a moth can not be considered totally harmful, and it should be destroyed only if it poses a danger to the sanitary condition of the dwelling.