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Case Bearing Clothes Moth

What do they look like?

Case Bearing Clothes Moth


Case Bearing Clothes Moth larva

The Case Bearing Clothes Moth (Tinea Pellionella) has a wingspan of about 15mm. The species is named from the larva which lives inside a case which it carries around. It is a species similar in appearance to the common clothes moth.

The larvae spin a silken case around themselves, often incorporating part of the food material. Sometimes in a severe infestation, larvae may crawl up on a wall dragging their cases behind them.


The larvae case is up to 10mm long at maturity. The larvae pupates inside the case at 25oC and on a good diet, the life cycle can be completed in about seven weeks. There is normally only one generation per year, although adult moths may be present in early summer and early autumn.

Pest Status

The larvae feed on particles of woollen clothing, furniture fittings, furs and carpets, primarily of animal origin. Damage may occur to objects incorporating hair, wool, fur, feathers, horn and silk.


The best way to combat clothes moths is to prevent them becoming established in the home. The principal weapon is the vacuum cleaner and its nozzle and brush attachments. Rooms should be cleaned often enough to prevent the accumulation of lint, hair and other clothes moth food materials. Close attention should be given to rugs and carpets, particularly at the edges where the carpet meets the skirting board, and under items of furniture that do not get moved frequently.

If the infestation is particularly bad, an application of a residual insecticide may be required. This can be carried out ad a DIY treatment.

Use of Insecticides and Pesticides

Insecticides can be purchased from garden centres/shops, hardware/ironmongers shops, DIY stores, etc. Please note the following precautions:

Insecticides and pesticides are potentially dangerous, and always:

  • store them away from children and pets;
  • read the label on whichever product is being used and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully;
  • take whatever precautious are advised/recommended;
  • ensure good ventilation;
  • avoid inhaling vapours and spray;
  • wash hands after use;
  • do not use near open food or on preparation surfaces.

Should the infestation be particularly severe you may wish to contact a professional pest control company.

Last Updated: 15/02/2017
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