The webbing clothes moth can grow to 3/8 inch long.
Webbing clothes moths are cream or golden colored with shiny, tan wings. The wings are long and narrow and there is a fringe of long hairs along the lower edge of the hind wing.
The webbing clothes moth is the most common fabric pest and is notorious for the damage it can do to woolen fabrics and other fabrics of animal hair origin. In addition, the larva will feed on fungus, skins, dead insects, and any other protein associated with animals. They have been known to feed on cotton fabrics if necessary, and may cause damage to synthetic fabrics, which they cannot digest. This moth actually avoids light and feeds primarily in dark, hidden areas. The larvae are best identified by the damage being done to fabrics and the presence of silk and fecal material over the damaged area.
These moths feed on wool clothing, carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, furs, stored wool, animal bristles in brushes, wool felts in pianos, and fish meal in fish food. Synthetics or fabrics such as cotton are fed on if they are blended with wool.
Females lay 40 to 50 eggs over a period of 2 to 3 weeks and die afterwards. Males live on and continue to mate throughout their lives. Eggs are attached to threads of fabric with an adhesive secretion, and hatch in 4 to 10 days. Larvae spin webbing as they feed and may partially enclose themselves in a webbing cover or feeding tube, depending on species.
Webbing clothes moths have a distinctive flight pattern; fluttering erratically rather than flying in a direct, steady manner like food-infesting moths.
Seeking the source of the infestation is crucial, as killing adult moths does not affect the developing larvae. The larval habitat will be in a hidden area, usually in materials that have remained undisturbed for some period of time.