Moths may conjure dull connotations in our mind, but there’s much more to moths than their flying nature around our front porch lights mid-summertime. Moths belong to the same order as butterflies, joining the order Lepidoptera, which means “scaly-winged”. Varying in color and size, different species of moths possess different appearances, with some appearing bright and colorful with patterns while others appear dull with great camouflage. While some moths may possess beauty and beneficence, others are nocturnal blood-feeders. It is estimated that there are over 16,000 species of moths.
Moth Behavior, Habitat & Diet
These nocturnal insects also play vital roles in our ecosystem. Moths provide a food source for a variety of wildlife, including insects, spiders, birds, bats, frogs, lizards, and more. Moths have an appetite for plant leaves, and moths also aid beneficence to plants by pollinating flowers and help facilitate seed production.
Moths feed on most anything that dissolves in water, such as flower nectar, tree sap, bird droppings, or decaying fruit. Moths are found in many different types of habitats, depending on the species, and they are sensitive to change. Therefore, moths are beneficial in indicating environmental changes and lend clues to the effects of pesticides, air pollution, and climate fluctuations.
Moths are nocturnal animals that prefer dark spaces, including basements, crawlspaces, pantries, and closets. Moths create damage within homes by feeding off different types of natural fibers found in your clothes. They can cause harm to materials like wool, silk, fur, feathers, and felt, and can also occupy your pantry in search of grains or oatmeal. However, the adult moths are not the harmful ones; the larvae actually destroys clothing.
Moth Prevention & Treatment
Check your clothing for moth damage to identify signs of fabric damage, droppings, webbings, or cocoons. If you suspect a moth infestation within or around your home, it is best to contact your local pest control professional to conduct a thorough and comprehensive inspection to identify the moth source.