Nuisance and household pests-Clothes moth

Tineola bisselliella

Pest description and damage Yellow or tan and about 0.5 inch across the wings. Larvae are wormlike and may be encased in a silken tubes. Moths avoid light.


Wash or dry-clean woolen clothes before storage. Soiled cloth is more likely to become infested than is clean cloth. Store woolens in containers with tight-fitting lids. "Moth balls" (naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene) are effective in tightly sealed containers; however, long-term exposure may have health effects for humans. Cedar chests may prevent infestations if chests are tightly fitted. Be particularly careful of woolen articles purchased overseas; these should be dry-cleaned before storage. Cold treatment (72 hours at -20°F) has been found effective. Do not spray clothing directly with pesticides.

For further information:

Clothes moth. National Pesticide Information Center. Oregon State University.