Moth eggs, butterflies and caterpillars: how to get rid of them

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Probably each of us has encountered a moth at least once in our lives. At first glance, it may seem that moths are a completely harmless pest that does not bite, does not dirty corners, and does not crawl around the kitchen at night. However, this does not mean that the flying insect is completely safe.

We've all heard the expression that moths make things suffer. As a rule, this statement is associated with clothing - fur products, sweaters, sweaters, and so on. However, moths also feed on regular foods. It should be noted that it is not the butterflies themselves that cause harm, but their delicious caterpillars. The more the larvae consume fur and other things, the longer the butterfly will live. In other words, their gluttony is an investment in the future.

Type of moth and difference between pest species

Most people know only a few facts about moths. If you have never encountered the problem of clothes moths and a swarm of insects in your closet, then it seems there is no need to know the details about these insects. But this article will help you learn more about moths.

Moths are a common pest, but there are many types of moths that differ not only in appearance, but also in their lifestyle. At first glance, it may seem that all these insects look similar. However, there are subtle but important differences between different types of moths.

food moth

These insects got their name for a reason: their main diet consists not of fur or fabrics, but of ordinary products, in particular groceries. If you find moth eggs or caterpillars in old cereal, there's no need to worry—your clothes are safe.

Food moth larvae and caterpillars prefer a variety of foods, such as flour, nuts, cookies, cereals and dried fruits. Their mouthparts allow them to feed on even larger foods.

Food moth larvae look like small caterpillars that are creamy white or almost transparent in color. If you look closely, you can see two pairs of small legs on the first segment of the caterpillar and four more pairs on the abdomen.

The length of the larva is approximately 20 millimeters, and its thickness depends on what foods it consumed during development. The more high-calorie the food, the thicker the caterpillar will be.

These insects are capable of feeding on almost anything and can survive in any environment, be it indoors or in the wild, as long as there is a food source.

Clothes moth

Clothes moths, unlike food moths, are not interested in regular food. Its larvae prefer things containing keratin, a substance found in carpets, fur coats, woolen clothing, hair, felt products, feathers and down. In other words, clothes moth caterpillars can destroy almost all of your closet items.

The larvae of these pests are gray or whitish in color and establish their shelters in the places where they live and feed. In cozy nests, the larvae turn into butterflies that can fly out of closets. If you find pills or small holes on your fur items, this may be a sign of the presence of these pests or their offspring. Cocoons, from which larvae then emerge and turn into butterflies, can also form in upholstered furniture, as well as in carpets. Even natural shoes can be eaten by these insects.

If you notice these moths in your home, you need to take moth control measures to prevent damage to your items that are part of their diet. Clothes moths are also known as furniture moths because their larvae can be found in upholstered furniture.

Life cycle and development of pests

In the previous section, we looked at the main differences between the two most common types of moths. Now let's turn our attention to their life cycle.

During their life, these little pests go through four stages of development. To successfully complete all stages, they need certain conditions, such as dryness and moderate air temperature. These conditions ensure a change in moth generations.

It is important to note that moth eggs and larvae develop much faster in foods due to a certain nutritional balance.

The life cycle of a moth includes four stages:

  1. Eggs: Moth eggs are microscopic balls that are difficult to see with the naked eye. From these eggs come caterpillars that cause maximum damage to things and products.
  2. Larva: Development occurs inside the egg, and sooner or later a larva emerges from it. The main goal of the larva is to accumulate reserves of nutrients. When their number reaches a certain level, the caterpillar turns into a pupa.
  3. Doll: The pupa is a shell that can be considered a cozy and comfortable home for the future reproduction of the species. Changes are happening here. Then the same butterfly that we are all used to seeing flies out of the pupa. The main task of butterflies is to find a partner for mating. The male moth, unfortunately, dies after mating, and the female lives a little longer. The pest lays eggs and soon dies.
  4. Laying eggs: One female can lay up to 200 eggs. Hungry larvae hatch about a week after being laid.

How to deal with moth larvae

If you find traces of moths or insects themselves among food or clothing, this should serve as a signal for thorough cleaning. It is important to understand that pest control is a labor-intensive and lengthy process, but urgent. If insects are not removed promptly, they can cause significant damage.

The first step in the fight against moths is a complete inspection of all things. It is important to overcome laziness and get to work. Remove any items from closets, dressers, and drawers that could be a food source for pests. Heavily damaged products and items should be disposed of immediately.

The next step is thorough cleaning. Place clothes and other items left inside in the washing machine. Start the wash by heating the water to a temperature above 50 degrees. This will ensure the death of all insects. If some clothes cannot withstand high temperatures, they can be frozen. In winter, take things out onto the balcony or street; in summer, place them in the freezer of the refrigerator.

Pay attention to the furniture too. Remove shelves from cabinets and wash them. Carry out similar procedures with the cabinets where food was stored. Cereals can be processed by heating them to 60 degrees, or freezing them. If most of the food is spoiled, it is best to throw it away. Wash each surface thoroughly using a solution of soap and water or vinegar.

Chemical agents for moth control

After completing the cleaning work, moving to more radical methods becomes an urgent task. We are talking about professional chemicals that can be purchased in specialized stores. Modern drugs against moths and other pests are highly effective, proven in practice. For pest control, high-quality insecticides are the best choice. These products differ in composition and principle of action, which allows you to choose the best option for your needs.

Here are some of the disinfectants against moths:

  1. Raptor: This insecticide has a pleasant smell and is often used to combat clothing parasites.
  2. Armol: This product is effective against insects at any stage of development, including household and kitchen species.
  3. Fumigators: These devices are slower but safer. They are odorless and can kill moths within a week. This is a good option, especially if you have children, pets or pregnant women in the house.

If for some reason you do not want to eliminate moths in your home yourself, our company can take on this task. We provide high quality pest control services. Our specialists will come to you and help you get rid of moths completely. To ask us questions or leave a request, use the feedback form.

How to kill insects using folk remedies

Not all people are ready to use professional chemicals in their apartment. Despite manufacturers' assurances that such products are completely safe, many still have doubts. In this case, traditional methods that have proven their effectiveness over many years can serve as an excellent alternative. Moreover, they are completely safe.

It should be noted that the products listed below are more suitable for killing butterflies. They may not have such a strong effect on the larvae.

Here are some folk remedies:

  1. Essential oils: Oils from cloves, lavender and other aromatic herbs can be used as repellents. Their aroma will repel moths and create a pleasant smell in your home.
  2. Herbal bouquets: Create bouquets with herbs including tobacco, wormwood, lavender and wild rosemary. Place them in dressers or closets. The aroma of these herbs will scare away unexpected guests.
  3. Pelargonium: The pelargonium plant can repel moths. Place it in your home and pests will not boldly fly into your space.
  4. Laundry soap: Just put a piece of laundry soap in the closet. Its scent will repel moths and help keep your belongings safe.

How moths get into the house

People start looking for ways to control pests when they encounter problems caused by them. However, they do not even suspect how exactly the moth got into their home. You can take precautions, but it is impossible to completely avoid the appearance of the parasite.

There are three key ways how moths get into an apartment:

  1. Through new purchases: Moths can enter your home on new purchases such as fur or wool items. Moth eggs and larvae may be found on second-hand furniture that you have purchased.
  2. With the help of pets: Pets can bring moths into your apartment. Insect eggs sneak into the room on the fur of a dog or cat.
  3. Through neighbors: If one of your neighbors has moths, this could lead to unexpected guests. It can enter your apartment through ventilation shafts or other open connections.
Remove Clothes Moths from a Closet Using No Pesticides

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do moths lay their eggs?

The flying moths in the apartment are males. Females move around the room, running across, jumping and hiding in the folds of clothing. It is in such “cozy” places that they lay their eggs. It is noteworthy that the laying process lasts from 14 to 21 days. During this time, one female can lay up to 200 eggs.

Why are moths dangerous to humans?

Moth itself does not pose a danger to human health and life. However, this pest ruins things. If the problem is not detected in time and not solved, within two months the larvae can spoil a lot of food and leave their waste in it. If moths are in your closet, you can say goodbye to most of your wardrobe.

How do moths hatch?

The pest hatches from a pupa, which develops in ten to 15 days. First, the pupa emerges from the cocoon, facilitating the process of the butterfly’s birth. The butterflies themselves do not feed on anything. Their main goal is mating. After this they die.

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