Moths

Moths or tineids are butterflies’ larvae (Lepidoptera) that, as the breeds, grows in different ambient, injures different things: clothes, Carpets, grains, fruit trees.

Moths, is part of household insects, they are little butterflies with thin wings that make only short flights, they are the fully-grown moths.

Moths, when arrived to the butterfly stadium when we see them flying in our kitchen, wardrobes, storerooms, vaults as a rule, do not constitutes occasion of infestation anymore both are female moths, because they will have to lay their eggs, or male moths because they will have ended their reproduction cycle, but there will be surely other males or females concealed that are multiplying themselves.

But the real responsible of moths’ infestation are the caterpillars or larvae equipped of chewing apparatus with jaws very grown with which causes a lot of bad damages in our houses, stores and establishments.

They distinguish in two categories: Moths of clothes and Moths of the foods.

TINEA PELLIONELLA L.

This moth is among the two more widespread in Italy; it is the moth of the wool, of the furs and of the clothes, it belongs to the family of Tineidi because the diet of the larvae is constituted by the keratin, a substance they find on organic substratum: skins, feathers, trichome of the sheep, alpaca, wool with a special preference for cashmere, but also silk and sometime vegetal fibres as the cotton.

LIFE CYCLE

The females of the Moths lay their eggs directly on the materials where the larvae can feed; the necessary time for the complete growth of the moth at the larval stadium is of 2-3 months. In this period, the moth creates a refuge erected cutting the hair at the base that feathers unites with a silky foam. In this box, that grows at the same size with which grows the larva (about 1 cm) become pupa.

The ideal temperature for the growing of the Moths is of 25°C and a dampness of the 75% and in one year they can release 2 or 3 generations of Moths.

TINEOLA BISSELIELLA HUM.

It is the second moth widespread in Italy, it is the moth of the wool par excellence, and it is called also clear moth of the clothes. Also this moth belongs to the family of Tineidi but, in case of need, it attacks also fur coats, feathers, brushes, paintbrushes.

LIFE CYCLE

The adult moth is similar to the moth of the food, reaches 5-8 cm of height, coloured yellow or grey, lays its eggs straight on the material that will serve as sustenance for the larvae, distinguishable for the brown head and the white body but, unlike the larvae of the moth tinea pellionella L, they do not erect a protective box but they weave light silky pipes and reach the height of 12 mm.

The adult female of this moth is recognizable because it does not fly, but it moves jumping.

Also for this breed of moth, the ideal temperature is ever of 25°C and 75% of dampness and mainly they love dark places.

PLODIA INTERPUNCTELLA

This is the real name of the moth of the food, and they are the little butterflies that we can find in the little and big distributors of foodstuffs, but they are not considered complete Moths, because they attack foods as the flour, legumes, spices, tea, rise, grains etc. and their diet is not composed of keratin.

This breed of Moths is not widespread only in Italy but in all over the world.

LIFE CYCLE

The life cycle of the moth of the food starts in March and end in October.

The female of this moth lays about 300 eggs and the growing of the larvae lasts 41 weeks and during them they feed and metabolize all that they can find in the distributor of foodstuffs, infesting everything and they can penetrate also in the sealed containers.

ANTICIPATE THE INFESTATION OF THE MOTHS

Being Lepidoptera, or better insects that fly, the infestation of the Moths can arrive from the external to our houses and in deposits and storehouses, but also through some materials, both food or animal skin, already infested.

Consequently for the prevention of Moths’ infestation, the first useful intervention consists in a scrupulous control of the clothes or other materials that comes into the environment where they live.

The Moths are insect that prefer a hot and damp temperature so another useful foresight will be to lay clothes into sites in advance cleaned and disinfected and into environments at low temperature, ventilated and dry.

The larvae of he Moths feed of keratin but they need, for surviving, also of grease that they find on tissues not very clean. At this point a preventive action in laying cleaned and washed clothes or in brushing the clothes from the dirt, airing them, using a stain cleaner on parts as collars and cuffs where the larvae of the Moths can find the grease that they need, at he end use Plastic containers for protecting them during the time.

Anyhow remains particularly important, for the complete protection of our clothes, the employment of mothproofs. Exist some chemical and natural products as the cleansing solution, mint, the essence of citron that are not harmful and Poisonous as the more usual camphor and naphthalene.

At least the yellow colour is an excellent mothproof.

Other useful systems of prevention can be the mosquito nets, quartz lamps that capture the adult moths, and also very important is the scrupulous cleanliness and the Removal of dirt constituted by fibres of wool hair of fur coat, silk and cotton mainly in the establishments for the working and deposition of these materials.

The cotton, mainly during the spring season, is practically essential for verifying the possible presence of butterflies of the Moths or the larvae.

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