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Pest Control For Those Pesky Moths (Columbia Exterminators)

Clothes moth in a closet

Poor moths! Most species are just as beautiful as their cousins, the butterfly. Yet, they do not get as much love as their close relatives. In fact, Columbia residents loathe them.

These negative feelings towards these insects are not without basis, however. Whatever ill will humans have toward them is mainly because there are some moth species that are nothing but pests in the household.

Moths are certainly extraordinary creatures because of their contribution to the environment. They are food to many other insects and animals, which are in turn, beneficial creatures too. Aside from that, moths are so beautiful to look at.

However, if there are too many of them, they become troublesome. Moths are one of the most prevalent household pests in the United States. Moths damage dried stored foods, clothes, textiles, and rugs. Some can create destruction to walls. As long as you have moths inside the household, they will continue causing destruction.

Moths are no health risks to humans, but they are definitely a nuisance. Still, getting rid of them is necessary. Aside from being a nuisance, their presence can likewise lead to economic damage to homeowners. If moths infest your home, you may prefer to hire the services of your friendly Columbia moth exterminators.

Before that, let us understand further what moths are. 


Moths belong to the order of Lepidoptera. They are close relatives of the butterflies, as they belong to the same order. There are more or less 160,000 known species of moths, representing most of this order. There are 11,000 species of moths in the United States. Most of them are nocturnal. The proboscis is the name of their mouthparts, which they can coil. They use their proboscis to drink nectar.

Moths have wings, antennae attached to their heads, and scales on their wings. Their antennae are like feathers feathery and are threadlike. These are the traits that differentiate them from the butterflies. Butterflies have club-tipped antennae. Moths are noted to be drawn to light. Scientists still cannot figure out why.

Moths have been around for 190 million years. Scientists know this from the data collected from moth fossils.

Life Cycle of Moths

Moths undergo various stages in their lives. They go through a complete metamorphosis. First is the egg stage. After the eggs hatch, they enter the larva stage or the caterpillar stage. At this point in their lives, they begin to eat. The larvae destroy the pantry as they feed on your stored dry foods. This is the kind of damage a pantry moth can create. If you have clothes moths, you better protect your clothes.

The next stage is the pupa and later the adult stage. The new adult moths would later be capable of multiplying, and the cycle starts anew.

Some moths do not have mouths that they can use to eat or drink. Due to this, they merely grow to survive just a few days as adults. They soon die after mating. For these types of moths, mating is the sole reason they live at all. They live off the deposited energy they received as caterpillars. One example of this is the Luna moth.

Types of Moths

Moths are not as beloved by humans as humans would their cousins. Some species of moths are pests. Listed below are those types of moths.

Meal Moths

Also called Indian moths, Indian meal moths, or pantry moths. They are the most troublesome among all the pantry pests. Meal moths are from 8 to 10 mm in diameter and have an ⅝ inch wingspan. They come in gray colors while the outer covers of their wings are emphasized by a reddish-brown dye. Pantry moths are nuisance pests because they infest any kind of dry food material like sugar, bran, wheat, fibers, nuts, flour, sugar, pasta, dog feed, preserved products, and nuts. They can gnaw their way inside plastic and cardboard packages. They can cause economic damage. Once they invade your stored foods, you will have to throw them away.

Meal moths can get into our homes through the food packages that were bought from the store.  It is prudent then to go through these packages and check for months. Look for the presence of webbings, which is a clear indication that there are meal moths inside the box.  If you have already purchased the food and noticed moths only after you got home, take it back to the store.  Make certain it would be properly disposed of and not to be returned to the rack.

Here are a few tricks to eliminate pantry moths.

  • If the dried stored foodstuffs in your pantry are ravaged by these pantry moths, dispose of them immediately to prevent the moths from multiplying.  
  • Keep your dry foods in closed metal canisters. Meal moths can gnaw their way into cartons and even plastic.  
  • Clean your cupboard every week to clear away any eggs that may be there. Remove everything on the closets and cabinets then clean with a cloth.  Vacuum regularly to take out the eggs.   

Clothes Moths

Clothes moths are the kind of moths that damage clothing and furniture. What draws them to these things is the proteins located in the clothes.  They destroy clothes, sweatshirts, tapestries, and even insulation. They often choose clothes that are a bit dirty and wet. Clothes moths cannot travel very far, so if you have clothes moths at home, they were probably brought in along with old carpets, rugs, or clothes. Clothes moths may have been residing in your house for years without you seeing them. They will remain there quietly until their number suddenly increases, such as during warmer climates. The moth population is said to have tripled in the last 5 years.

Signs of the existence of clothes moths include seeing little holes in your clothes. Another one is the presence of fecal matter coming from the clothes moths. Their feces would have the same color as the fabric on which they fed.

To get rid of clothes moths:

  • Clothes moths like to hide in areas where they can remain undisturbed and out of reach, like in drab and moist areas. Wipe the cabinet’s surfaces using a cloth that is dipped in soapy water to kill the larvae. Make certain to transfer your clothes from the cabinet while doing so. 
  • Freezing your clothes can likewise help kill the larvae. Put your clothes inside a plastic bag before freezing them. Wash or dry clean all your clothes once in a while when it has been left untouched for some time.   
  • Another measure to repel clothes moths is to use mothballs.  
  • You may use pheromone-laced cardboard traps. These can be efficient in killing the moths. It is recommended that you use this in consolidation with different methods.

Other Types of Moths

The browntail moth - Among the moths on this list, the brown-tail moths are probably the most invasive because they can produce breathing difficulties as well as irritation on the skin when you come into contact with them. They have white, hairy bodies. Their wingspans grow to about 40 mm. Their tails are covered with reddish-brown strands. They have antennae that they utilize to detect pheromones. The males have larger antennae than those of the females. Males use their antennae to detect unmated females. Females have wider bodies and can lay from 200 to 400 eggs, normally under leaves.  The adult moths can spin nests made of silk that have hairs that can lead to irritability. Caterpillars and nests should be pulled out if discovered within your proximity. To avoid direct contact with these moths, put on rubber gloves.

Ermine moths - These moths are from the order Yponomeuta padella. They are small to medium-sized moths that are bright in color with white wings and black markings. Ermine moths can grow to about 8 to 31 mm in length with a wingspan of about 20 mm. They have smooth scales covering their heads. While pantry moths and clothes moths do damage indoors, ermine moths are a nuisance in the garden and they can cause considerable defoliation in garden shrubs. They feed on leaves and are leaf webbers. They can be located in different types of plants. Ermine moths also make extensive silk webbings, which add to the destruction they cause. They cause damage to crops and trees as well. To eliminate ermine moths, you may simply handpick them or just get rid of infested shoots.

If you want to get rid of moths in your house or lawn, be sure to reach out to the trusted exterminators, and the best pest control company in Columbia, Go-Forth Home Services 

Professional Pest Control Company Near You

Go-Forth Home Services has been in the pest control industry for 60 years, gaining the trust of residents and businesses in Columbia. Its expert professionals are simply the best in the industry. Their methods are safe, family-friendly and environment-friendly. To inquire, or get a free estimate, call us now! Just dial (877) 274-1475. Our friendly operators are standing by.