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Moths can be found in a variety of stored products, including foodstuffs, carpets and textiles. It is the larvae that cause such considerable damage, not the adults. Moth control is best achieved through -

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  • Domestic and small shop/store premises can usually be treated DIY
  • Large industrial units and loose grain stores need professional input, especially if the infestation is so bad as to require fumigation.

In domestic or small commercial situations:

  • Do not use insecticides in pantries, kitchens, dining rooms or food stores. Insecticide contaminaton of food may have toxic effects and is a potential health hazard.
  • Follow the advice given in 'How to proof against' section to ensure hygiene is good and contaminated food is destroyed.
  • If potential harbourages still exist within the premises, treat these areas with a suitable non-insecticide dust or spray.
  • In areas away from food, suitable insecticides may be sprayed into cracks and crevices where the larvae or adult beetles may have secreted themselves.

In large commercial grain or food product stores:

  • Follow the advice given above regarding hygiene
  • If in any doubt about your ability and time available to control an infestation, call on the services of a pest control company qualified in fumigation techniques.

Use pesticides safely and always read and understand the label.

There are a range of moths that can be found inside and outside of the home. The most common are the Webbing Clothes Moth, the Case Bearing or Carpet Moth, the Food Product Moth and the Brown House Moth

All these moths share similar characteristics, but can vary in appearance.


Webbing Clothes Moth ( Tineola Bisselliella)

  • pale gold in colour
  • reddish tufts of hair on head
  • larvae are translucent white

Case Bearing Clothes Moth (Tinea Pellionella)

  • forewings are yellowy-brown with three distinctive dark spots
  • hindwings are lighter brown, fringed with hair
  • eggs are white, larvae opaque-white with a brown head

Food Product Moth, mainly the Indian Meal Moth (Plodia Interpunctella)

  • the inner third of the forewing is a buff colour, the rest bronze
  • eggs are grey-white but can also be pinky or green depending on the foodstuff
  • the larvae migrate across foodstuffs leaving webbing or frass

Brown House Moth (Hofmannophila Pseudospretella)

  • dark brown wings with black-brown spots
  • larvae are glossy white

Life cycle:

  • all lay eggs, either within the foodstuffs or fabric or stuck into cracks and crevices in the immediate vicinity
  • eggs hatch into larvae that cause considerable damage to the food through contamination or to fabrics through destroying fibres
  • larvae pupate and then emerge as adults
  • adults feed (if at all) on liquid food and water

Stored food product moths are associated with warehouses, silos, food storage and preparation areas, retail premises and homes. They are attracted by vegetable and animal matter

They feed on a wide variety of stored foods including spices and drugs

Clothes moths can infest any natural fibres in wardrobes and drawers, such as wool, silk, feathers or fur.

To prevent an infestation of clothes moths bear the following in mind.

  • Keep everywhere clean, hoovering wardrobes and carpets, moving furniture and soft furnishings
  • Do not put anything away unless it is spotlessly clean. Food stains and human sweat are very attractive to moths
  • Don't have the house too warm
  • Use sealed bags and boxes to store delicate, vulnerable fabrics
  • The following information applies to all moth, beetle and weevil stored food pests.

In domestic or small commercial situations:

  • Areas where food is prepared, eaten and stored should be cleaned regularly.
  • Leaving food exposed in open packets or spilt food on floors or surfaces attracts and harbours these pests.
  • With good hygiene, attention to detail and regular inspection, you will be most unlikely to have a problem with stored product beetles and moth pests.
  • Dried pet foods are a very common harbourage.
  • If you find any food infested with moths or beetles, place the bag/container in a deep freeze for about a week, which will kill any insects, then dispose of the container and all contents.
  • Wash the container before reusing. If you even just suspect contamination of a bag of foodstuffs - be ruthless - deep freeze and throw it out.
  • Transfer as much food as possible into glass containers.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices with a suitable sealant.

Within commercial units:

  • Stores should be constructed so as to be easily cleaned and free of cracks, crevices and damp spots.
  • They should be well insulated and ventilated.
  • Commodities should be stacked off the floor on pallets and not touch either the walls or the ceiling. Space should be allowed between pallets to allow ventilation and enable inspection.
  • Packaging should be within thick, tough and preferably smooth/shiny well sealed materials.
  • All food residues should be cleaned up on a daily basis.
  • Ensure there are no birds nests within the building as these frequently harbour beetles and moths. All contaminated material should be destroyed.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices with a suitable sealant
  • Ensure ventilation openings are covered with an insect exclusion grid


What over the counter pest control can be used for clothes moths?


It depends on whether or not you are happy to use insecticides in the house.

For a non-toxic route use something like Oa2ki Trigger Spray or Concentrate (depending on the size of area to be treated) and either Oa2ki Powder or Agrodust in cracks and crevices, under carpets etc.

For an insecticidal solution, use something like Cyperbug Insect Spray and Residex P in cracks and crevices.

For monitoring the results, try the non-toxic Clothes Moth Traps which will attract and trap any mobile moths.

What over the counter pest control can be used for carpet moths?

A. Any product we sell containing cypermethrin

Are any of the products you sell safe for use around cats? No info given on any pages about toxicity...


There is a section on the website labelled Natural and Organic Control. Any of the products in this section are safe for use around animals