Friday, April 17, 2009

What I have learned about case-bearing clothes moths during the past two weeks.

case-bearing clothes moths


They look like a little tube of paper with some fuzz on the outside. Do not be fooled! There is a nasty little black and white wormy thing that will come out and eat your clothes. The worm will drag the little paper tube around. The whole process looks kind of bizarre.

When you squeeze them between your fingers, the wormy thing's guts will squish out the end of the tube in a gross yet satisfying way, much like squeezing a pimple. This process is not necessary to identify them. I just did it to see what would happen because I'm like a little boy sometimes.


They really like to eat dust and old hair and hate light. This means that you will most likely find them underneath furniture, inside closets, in corners, in the back of shelves, underneath area rugs, in your drawers...

You may also find them in inexplicably weird places, like on the ceiling or inside your shoes so be vigilant. Because they can climb, they could be anywhere. Most likely you won't find lots of them in any given place either. Be prepared to find one or two pretty much everywhere. There is no mother lode.

They like dust, but they also like to eat wool, silk, leather, feathers and some kinds of food. Anywhere where these things gather they probably will gather too.

Before I knew what these things were, I put a bunch in a jar so that I could observe and identify them. Left for a few days like that, they began to exhibit cannibalistic tendencies.


Your best defence is a good offence, which means vacuuming everything very thoroughly and inspecting stuff for damage and cocoons. If you can, throw anything that looks suspicious or infected into the freezer. 72 hours of sub-zero temperature will kill both the cocoons and their eggs. So will drycleaning.

Flushing a bunch of them down the toilet while laughing manically is fun but not nearly as effective as the above means of extermination.

Everything that I have read has said that moth balls, cedar, lavender... all those things you always associate with repelling moths are really not all that effective.

If your infestation is really bad you might need to call in professional help or use chemicals. I'm really not qualified to give you any kind of advice on that. I hope you don't end up in that situation.

case-bearing clothes moths