GETTING RID OF THE TROUBLESOME MOTHS
When it comes to taste nobody beats the moths among all household pests. If they are not eating the dry foods you have stored in your pantry, they are eating your Armani, Guess, Versace, and Dolce and Gabbana are inside your closets. So classy indeed! Moths only want the best, and so do you. When it comes to handling pests in your home, you only want to call the insect exterminator near me, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Moths are considered among the most troublesome pests to have ever attacked American households. When they are not being annoying insects, they are damaging our dried stored foods, clothes, fabrics, and carpets. They do not get the same respect that their cousins, the butterflies, get.
Not all moths, though, are considered pests. There are more or less 160,000 species of moths, and most of them are actually beneficial insects. They are an important source of food for many types of wildlife and are very good pollinators for flowers and other plants. It is only when they get close to human settlements that they become pests, though not really the fault of theirs. They are just being themselves, eating what is available to them inside our homes. Fortunately, they do not transmit diseases.
Moths belong to the order of Lepidoptera. The butterflies also belong to this order. Moths make up most of this order as there are around 160,000 species. Here in the United States, there are 11,000 of them. Most of them are also nocturnal. They are the only group of insects that have scales on their wings. Their mouths are called proboscis, which they can curl up. They use this to suck nectar. They also have wings and antenna; their antennae are usually threadlike or feathery, which distinguishes them from the butterfly. Butterflies have club-tipped antennae. Moths are also known to be attracted to light, for still unknown reasons. Moth fossils that were found are said to have been 190 million years old.
As for their lifecycle, moths undergo metamorphosis all their lives, meaning they go through several stages in their lifetime. First is the egg stage. After hatching, they enter the larva stage or caterpillar stage. This is when they start to eat what is in their immediate surroundings. The larvae or caterpillars are the ones that cause damage in the pantry, feeding on your stored dry foods, or in the case of the clothes moths, your cabinets with your clothes. Next stage is the pupa, and then the adult. These adult moths would then be capable of reproducing, re-starting the cycle all over again.
Some moths are not blessed with mouths that they can use to feed. Due to this impairment, they only get to live just a few days as adults. They immediately die after mating, which is the only reason they exist. They live off the stored energy they got as caterpillars, so they really have no use for mouths because they do not eat. The luna moth is one example of this.
Types of moths
Meal moths – They are also known as Indian moths, or Indian meal moths, or pantry moths. Among all the pests that can be found in the pantry, they are known to be the most troublesome. Their size ranges from 8 to 10 mm in length and a ⅝ inch wingspan. Their bodies are grey in colour while the outer lining of their wing is highlighted by a reddish-brown colour. Pantry moths are considered as nuisance pests because they can attack any kind of dry foodstuffs like sugar, rice, cereals, grains, nuts, flour, sugar, pasta, dog food, dried fruits, and nuts. They can chew their way inside plastic and cardboard containers. They also cause economic damage because once they attack your stored foods, these dry foods will have to be thrown away.
Meal moths are able to get into our homes through the food packages that we bought from the store. That is why before purchasing dry foods, it is advisable to check these for the presence of moths. The presence of webbings is a sure sign that there are meal moths inside the package. In case you already bought the food and noticed moths inside only after you get home, return the package to the store. Make sure it would then be properly disposed of and not be returned to the shelf.
If your dried stored foods are infested by these pantry moths, dispose of these properly and immediately. This will prevent the moths from spreading. Store dry foods in sealed metal containers; meal moths can chew their way into boxes and even plastic. Clean your cupboard every week to remove any eggs that may have been there. Remove everything on your cupboards and cabinets and wipe with a cloth. Use vacuum as much as possible to remove even the eggs.
Clothes moths – Clothes moths are the type of moths that damage clothing and other furniture. They eat the proteins found in the clothes. They destroy clothes, sweaters, carpets, and even insulation. They typically choose clothes that are dirty and a bit wet. Their numbers are said to have tripled in the last 5 years. Clothes moths do not fly very far, so if you have clothes moths at home, they were most probably introduced by bringing in old carpets, rugs, or clothes. Clothes moths may have been living with you for years without you noticing it, then their population would suddenly boom when the time is right, such as warmer climate.
Signs that you have been attacked by clothes moths include spotting little holes on your clothes. Another sign is the presence of fecal matter from the clothes moths. Their feces would appear as having the same color as the fabric. which usually contain the dye of the fabric it fed on.
Clothes moths like to hide in places where they can be undisturbed, like in dark and damp areas. Remove your clothes from the cabinet every once in a while, then wipe the cabinet’s surfaces using a cloth that is soaked in soapy water in order to kill the larvae. Freezing your clothes can also help kill the larvae. Put your clothes in a plastic bag before freezing them. Wash or dry clean all your clothes every once in a while when it has been left unused for quite some time. Mothballs can also repel moths.
Pheromone-laced cardboard traps can also work. These may be effective in controlling the moths. Admittedly, this alone cannot solve the problem entirely, so it is advisable to use this in combination with other methods.
Ermine moths – Ermine moths belong to the family Yponomeuta padella. Ermine moths are small to medium-sized moths that are light in colour with white wings and black markings. They are about 8 to 31 mm in length with a wingspan of approximately 20 mm. They have smooth scales on their heads. Ermine moths are more of a nuisance in the garden because they can cause extensive defoliation in garden shrubs. They eat leaves, are leaf webbers, and can be found in different kinds of plants. They also produce extensive silk webbings that add to the damage, they cause damage to crops and trees as well. If you have these pests in your garden, you may simply handpick them or remove the shoots that are infested.
The browntail moth– The browntail moths are the most invasive among the moths because they can cause breathing difficulties as well as irritation on the skin upon contact. They have hairy, white bodies with a wingspan of approximately 40 mm. Their tails are covered with reddish-brown hairs. They have antennae that they use to detect pheromones. The antennae of the males are larger, which they use to detect unmated females. Females have larger bodies though. Females then lay 200 to 400 eggs, usually under leaves. The adult moths also spin nests of silk which contain hairs that cause irritation as well. Caterpillars and nests should be removed if found within your vicinity. Wear rubber gloves to avoid direct contact with these moths.
If you have these unwanted pests in your house or in your garden, be sure to contact the insect exterminator near me, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Let Go-Forth Pest Control handle the job
At Go-Forth Pest Control, we have professional technicians who will examine your home and your lawn to evaluate your individual necessity. We will identify points of entry and make treatments as necessary. We only use state of the art equipment to keep up with these ever-evolving pests. What’s more, we employ family-friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination, so you are assured of your family’s safety.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.