Clothes Moths Aren’t Found Only in Clothes

By Chris Williams on September 18, 2015.

We have an ongoing problem with clothes moths. We find them in various areas of the house, and they have been positively identified as webbing clothes moths. We’ve checked and drycleaned all of our wool clothing, and blankets, and carpets – everything we can think of, but we still have moths appearing. What are we missing?

A. J., Methuen, MA

You’ve done all the right things, but perhaps you just need to broaden your inspection for the source of the pests. Fabric pests such as clothes moths, carpet beetles, and hide beetles can be found in sites beyond woolen clothing and carpets. They can be found infesting almost anything made of animal materials such as feathers, furs, pet hair, even natural brush bristles, animal nests, or accumulations of dead insects.


Additional Infestation Sites for Clothes Moths

Check these sites for adult clothes moths, damage, or silk webbing and feces left by the larvae:


  • Fabrics other than woolens, such as cotton, silk, linen, or rayon are sometimes infested if they also contain animal fibers or are soiled with food, perspiration, urine, etc.
  • Check overstuffed chairs or sofas, especially antiques. If these have woolen fabric covers, are stuffed with animal hair, or have accumulations of pet hair, they could be the source of fabric pests.
  • Check areas where your pets sleep. Look for accumulations of pet hair in these areas or under furniture, behind baseboards, or in air ducts. Look for pet bedding that is matted with pet hair.
  • You probably looked at the top of any wool rugs. Now turn them over and check the underside which is where you are more likely to find evidence of clothes moths.
  • Think about whether you have any animal-based decorative objects on shelves or hanging on walls – items such as animal trophies or mounted heads, or decorative items made of wool, hide, or feathers.
  • Finally, here’s a list of other obscure items that can possibly be infested by clothes moths – piano felts or felt backing, insect collections, natural bristle hair or clothes brushes, fur coats, fish meal or dried milk products, bee or yellowjacket nests inside wall voids, bird nests, horsehair and sheep’s wool insulation stuffed in the walls of old homes, and even horsehair mixed with plaster.


Give us a call at Colonial Pest. Our professional exterminators can do the search for you and treat any sites with clothes moth infestations.



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