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Types of moths

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A moth is an insect that feeds on a substance known as keratin. It is included in the group of keratophagous pests along with other creatures. Since keratin is also present in wool, these insects actively damage our woolen items.


The moth can be described as a small butterfly with a yellow-brown color and a silvery coating on the edges of the body and wings. Its life cycle is similar to butterflies: the female lays eggs, from which larvae hatch, then developing into caterpillars, which become butterflies and continue the reproductive cycle.

The moth prefers dark places where there is no light, avoiding it due to discomfort. This circumstance determines the female’s choice of dark places for laying eggs, such as cabinets, pantries and drawers.

Moth larvae emerging from eggs also prefer dark corners, making them difficult for humans to detect and kill. It is important to realize that if conditions are right for the moth, it will lay eggs throughout its life cycle.

It should be noted that the pest is not an adult moth, but exclusively caterpillars and larvae, which, after hatching, begin to feed on fibers.

Life cycle of a moth

Before puberty occurs, insects undergo two main stages of development. First, eggs are laid, and then larvae and caterpillars emerge from these eggs. The egg development process takes approximately 14 days at a favorable room temperature.

The larval period can last from 90 to 300 days. During this period, the future moth forms a cocoon from the material on which it actively feeds. However, after transforming into a butterfly, its remaining life is extremely short - from 14 to 28 days. Life expectancy directly depends on the type of moth to which these pests belong.

In general, this results in an impressive lifespan, most of which the moth actively harms the materials in the apartment where it lives, feeding on fabric and fur products.

Main types of moths in the city

Below we will look at the main types of these insects with a detailed description of each of them.

  1. Fur moth:
    • It has rich yellow wings with dots and specks, and a grayish color on the lower wings.
    • The wingspan is from 14 to 15 millimeters.
    • It eats exclusively natural types of clothing.
    • The larvae look like worms, almost transparent.
    • Butterflies lay eggs on fur or wool.
  2. Clothes moth:
    • Larger than the fur moth, wingspan up to 22 millimeters.
    • The wings are presented in two pairs, the color is close to purple.
    • Larvae with fluff, similar to fur moth larvae.
    • The larvae hide among the folds of clothing, eating it from the inside.
  3. Furniture moth:
    • Shiny wings with a silvery coating.
    • The head is darker, yellow in color, without the characteristic tentacles in the mouth area.
    • It spoils furniture by first eating the upper part of the upholstery, then creating holes.
    • Larval pupae form on the back of the furniture.
    • Development depends on temperature: in summer - 2 months, in winter - up to 5 months; pupation occurs towards the end of the winter period.

Agricultural insect species

In addition to city apartments, you can also encounter moths in rural areas. In this context, let's take a closer look at another type of this pest.

Grain moth:

    • A white-silver butterfly with a brown tint on the front wings, a wingspan of up to 15 millimeters.
    • Pupae are formed in spring or summer.
    • Found in places where large stocks of grain crops are stored, such as barns and granaries.
    • Lays eggs directly on grains, creating shelter and a source of nutrition for the offspring.
    • Prefers to breed in various crevices.

Rye moth:

    • The wingspan is up to 13 mm, the hind pair is dark yellow with a slight tint of brown.
    • Distributed in central Russia.
    • Eggs are laid towards the end of summer.
    • For this purpose, it selects both wild species of cereal plants and agricultural crops.
    • The larva eats away the center of the stem and overwinters in the resulting hole, and the pupae form around July.

Potato moth:

Less attractive than its fellow moths, the potato moth is gray in color with many dark spots on its wings. However, its larvae have a relatively pretty pinkish color. Unlike other types of moths, the potato moth spends only a few days in the butterfly stage. Its inconspicuous color is almost invisible at rest, which makes its life much easier.

As the name suggests, the main target of attack of this pest is potatoes. Potato moths can survive even at low temperatures. However, as a rule, the larvae penetrate inside the tubers, where they survive the cold winter.

Cabbage moth

Standing out among other types of moths for its external features, the cabbage moth has an elongated body with a greenish tint and is covered with many small hairs. It camouflages itself well under branches and straw, especially when at rest, and its wings are decorated with fur along the edges. In the larval stage, the upper body and head of the cabbage moth become brown.

The lifestyle of this moth species differs little from other species. They fly rarely and not very deftly, preferring to be close to the place where their cocoon is set up. Cabbage moths do not accumulate in groups, but prefer to lead a solitary lifestyle. The meeting of two moths together is an extremely rare occurrence.

Cabbage moth eggs have a unique elongated shape and are quite small in size, reaching only half a millimeter in length. Their greenish tint makes them difficult to notice, especially if they are deposited on leaves.

food moth

Food moths prefer to settle in food products with damaged packaging, focusing mainly on attacking various types of cereals. However, it does not disdain wild plants, such as nuts and fruit trees, which makes it common in steppe areas.

It is interesting to note that the food moth larva does not harm the interior, furniture or clothing, since it feeds exclusively on foods such as cereals, berries, nuts and other foods.

The length of the insect is 8 mm if its wings are folded. Butterflies have an inconspicuous color that promotes camouflage. The color of caterpillars differs from the color of butterflies, taking on a pinkish tint, and their body is completely smooth. Reproduction and maturation of future offspring occurs at a temperature of about 25 degrees. The total lifespan is approximately 6 weeks.

Chestnut moth

Actively damages horse chestnut and leaves of maple trees. It emerges immediately after the winter cold and immediately begins the reproduction process. Within 14–15 days, new individuals appear and begin to damage the trees, which can lead to premature leaf loss.

Parasites are detected by the abundance of orange spots on the leaves, indicating their presence.


Despite the variety of chemical preparations against these insects, it is quite difficult to carry out radical treatment. The moth quickly adapts to the effect of various agents and gradually acquires resistance to them.

A more reasonable approach would be preliminary prevention against the appearance of the pest. This method is much less labor intensive and allows you to prevent the problem in advance.

Types of Moths | Moth Species In English Language | Learn Moth Species


How to identify the type of moth in front of you?

Different types of moths have characteristic features that help identify their species. These distinguishing features most often include size (including wingspan), wing color, and preferred habitats. Among the most common types of moths are fur moths, clothes moths, furniture moths, as well as several agricultural species of this insect.

What repels food moths?

Food moths are sensitive to the odors of various aromatic herbs such as mint and lavender. To repel moths, you can use small bouquets of these herbs in cabinets. Garlic, orange peels or bay leaves are also effective remedies. Camphor alcohol, which has a pungent odor, can also be used for this purpose.

What types of moths are most often found in the house?

The most common types of moths found in the home are food moths and clothes moths. Both types of pests have distinctive presence patterns that can help you spot them in your home. Food moths often live in nuts, dried fruits and confectionery, while clothes moths prefer to live in clothing closets, where the material serves as the moth's main source of food.

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