Moths are part of a group of insects that are scientifically referred to as “Lepidoptera”. This translates to mean “scaly-winged”. The various colors and unique patterns of their wings are composed of thousands of very tiny scales.
To date, over 2,500 various moth types have been identified. Many do not realize it, but moths are in the same insect group as butterflies; however, unlike butterflies, these insects are mostly nocturnal – which means they are most active at night. Only a few types are active during the daytime. Continue reading to learn some interesting facts about these insects.
What Attracts Moths?
If you are reading this, it is quite likely that you are already aware of the fact that moths are attracted to light. What is not commonly known, though, is that moth infestations occur for a variety of reasons.
In most instances, moths go towards the light in order to gain access to the areas where the light is present – like the inside of your home. A pantry moth – for example – will continue to go toward light sources; however, another type of moth – the clothes moth – will actually go toward darker areas.
If looking for a place to deposit eggs, all moths will go towards areas that are dark. They also prefer secluded areas for this endeavor. Generally speaking, what attracts moths will depend on the type of moth that you are dealing with.
Let’s start with the common clothes moth.
These are – naturally – attracted to clothes and areas where clothes are placed, such as closets. The two most common species that are classified under this type of moth as “casemaking” and “webbing”.
The casemaking moths will infest garments and make “cases” inside of these clothes. This is for the purpose and intent of feeding, but will also leave behind feces and damage the clothing.
The webbing moths will infest animal-based clothing – such as wool -and will spin a tube so that they are hidden while feeding.
The next type of moth is the pantry moth.
These are classified under the “stored food moths”. These are attracted to the kitchen area as prefer to lay their eggs in processed foods and grains that have been stored. While these may find their way into the home on their own, they may also come inside through the means of food packages.
These moths are known for contaminating foods with their webbing, cocoons that they build, and feces.
The items that attract moths depend heavily upon the type of moth, their diet, and the type of habitat that they prefer.
Are Moths Dangerous?
Moths are capable of posing dangers to both humans and their pets. First, they are capable of contaminating foods such as cereals, rice, and other grains. They are also capable of contaminating pet food varieties – particularly dry foods.
The main form of moth contamination are from their feces and also from the cocoons they build.
Many people and pets have suffered from allergic reactions to the skin, mucus irritations, and intestinal diseases because of contact with the feces and cocoons of moths.
In addition to the dangers posed by the contamination of foods, when these insects come into contact with food sources, those foods must be thrown away. Furthermore, when they infest clothing pieces, they have the capability of destroying those items.
Moths cannot distinguish between apparel and other products composed of fabrics – such as towels, bedding, and furniture. As a result of this fact, they may damage more items in the home.
If a moth infestation is not dealt with immediately, it can grow and spread rapidly, making it more difficult to eliminate the infestation.
Moths may be dangerous in the caterpillar stage if they are handled or they are consumed. Many individuals actually have a fear of moths that may detrimentally impact their mental health. This fear is identified as “Lepidopterophobia”. It means the “fear of moths and/or butterflies”.
Individuals that suffer from this condition may experience high levels of anxiety, problems sleeping, panic attacks, and other health-related symptoms associated with the phobia. As with any phobia, it is advised to seek the assistance of a medical doctor or a mental health professional to overcome it before it negatively impacts physiological health.
Can Moths Bite?
Generally speaking, most moths are not capable of biting, but several are capable of stinging.
In the United States, only about 50 different species are capable of stinging, and only when they are in the larvae stage of their life. This is prior to the development of their wings. These stings may result in irritation and/or an allergic reaction.
As the caterpillar becomes a mature moth, the teeth that are present in the younger part of its life will become lost and the mouth will actually become non-existent.
Adults use an organ that resembles a straw to consume liquids.
As with most insects, there are exceptions – but the exception is typically not found in the United States. This exception is the vampire moth.
These mature moths have a feeding tube that resembles a straw but has projections protruding from it that are capable of penetrating the skin of people and pets. While this is not a common occurrence as most prefer fruits, it has happened.
Vampire moths are currently located only in Asia, Europe, and Africa. If you live in one of these regions, it is ideal to watch out for this particular moth. If you experience penetration from a vampire moth, you may develop a skin condition called Lepidopterism, experience irritation, or suffer from an allergic reaction.
While we are on the topic of biting moths, we feel it is important to mention the giant silkworm and the flannel moth caterpillars.
As adults, there are no issues, but in the caterpillar stage of life, they actually have toxic venom that goes down the length of the spine. These have the ability to cause a person or an animal to have a very serious sting. These moths are not aggressive and most stings only occur if they are handled in the caterpillar stage. In other instances, the stings occur if a person or animal attempts to consume the insect.
Can an Exterminator Get Rid of Moths?
Yes, an exterminator is fully capable of getting rid of moths. Pest control specialists will take the time to determine exactly how the infestation developed and try to uncover the method by which the insects are entering the home. They will then initiate a moth-eliminating procedure that reaches into all of the dark corners of your home in order to eliminate food sources.
Not only will this treatment help in combatting a current moth infestation, but it will also help in preventing the creatures from re-infesting your home. Exterminators are also capable of employing their treatments in the exterior areas of your home, in sheds, basements, attics, barns, and garages.
We Can Help
We here at All Pest Exterminating are capable of helping you identify the root cause of your moth infestation and quickly eliminate the insects from your home. We have offered our services since the year of 1995 and are backed by a solid reputation in achieving success.
In addition to pest control services, we also offer home inspections, pre-inspections, heated bed bug treatments, and more! If you would like to learn more about moth infestations, want an infestation eliminated, or would like more information about the ways we can assist you, contact us today by calling: 765-259-0043