Do Moths Really Eat Clothes?

 In News

You’ve heard the old warnings from your grandparents, and some of them might have stories of it happening to them.  From mothballs to DIY sprays, it seems like there is always a fix to stop moths from eating clothes—but does it actually happen?  Well, we’re here to talk about the myth today, and tell you the real lowdown on moths and what they think of your closet!

So simply put, can an adult moth eat your clothes?  Well, the easy answer is “no.” The moths you see flying around cannot take a chomp out of your sweater—it’s biologically impossible for them to do so.  It may freak you out, but moths only have mouths when they are caterpillars, and once they go into their cocoon they lose their mouths for a straw-like apparatus on their heads that allow them to drink nectar (which is where they get all of their nutrients from).  Therefore, they cannot be the culprits.

Alright, so if moths cannot do it, then how did the myth come about?  Well, while the adult moth we see around will not chew through your favorite sweater, but the moth larvae certainly will.  These little guys are ferocious eaters once they hatch from their eggs, and momma moth does her best job to lay all of her eggs (usually from 50-1,000) in an area deemed suitable for the larvae—namely, your sweater.  Natural fibers such as wool and silk make for a great diet for the growing larvae, which is why the presence of a moth around your closet often leads to holes being chewed through your favorite sweater. So, it’s not the moths that eat through you clothes but rather their children—which signifies a bigger problem than just a piece of clothing being ruined as it’s a sign of a serious infestation!

However, this doesn’t mean that your entire closet is fair game for the moths.  Turns out that moths only like to eat fibers that come from animals—so you can be assured that your cotton and synthetic clothes won’t be touched.  

Yet, should you ever pull out your favorite wool sweater and find some sizable holes in it, give us a call right away.  We’ll be there in no time to get to the bottom of it, and save your other clothes before it’s too late!

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