clothes moth, name for several species of moths of the family Tineidae, whose larvae feed on wool, furs, feathers, upholstery, and a variety of animal products. Clothes moths are of Old World origin. Those commonest in North America are the case-bearing clothes moth, Tinea pellionella, and the webbing clothes moth, Tineola bisselliella. The adults are yellowish or buff moths, often called millers, with a wingspread of about 1⁄2 in. (1.2 cm). They lay 100 to 150 eggs on the material which is to provide food for the larvae; they do not feed on fabrics themselves. The larva of the case-bearing clothes moth makes an open-ended case out of food fibers and its own silk; it feeds and pupates (see insect ) within the case. The webbing clothes moth larva makes no case, but when it pupates it builds a cocoon of silk and fibers. The life cycle is completed most rapidly at average room temperature and about 75% humidity. The tapestry, or carpet, moth, Trichophaga tapetzella, attacks upholstery. Fumigation, sunning, cleaning, brushing, and cold storage help to prevent damage. Clothes moths are classified in the phylum Arthropoda , class Insecta, order Lepidoptera, family Tineidae.
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