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There are several species of clothes moths, all of them characterised by folding their wings tent-wise along their backs. The adult Common Clothes Moth is 6 to 7mm long with pale, plain golden-buff wings fringed with hair. The rarer Case-Bearing Clothes Moth, is duller and has three dark brown spots on each of its wings.
The adults do no damage when feeding. It is the larvae which hatch from the sticky eggs that eat wool, hair, fur or feathers – with a preference for blankets, wool carpets, wool garments or upholstery that have been soiled with perspiration or food. The grubs are white caterpillars with golden-brown heads, which spin a hiding place of characteristic loose silk webbing, beneath which they feed. They make irregular holes in textile fabrics and pupate as silken cocoons. The Case Bearing Clothes Moth grub produces an open ended cylindrical case of silk as it feeds, and attaches fibres of its food material to this in order to camouflage itself.
Common worldwide, they are found indoors all year round.
Although the adult moths are harmless, their larvae can cause significant damage to clothing and other textiles, as they feed on a wide range of fabrics of animal origin, such as wool and fur.