Butterflies and Moths, Physical Features and Life Cycle of Butterflies

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Butterflies and Moths

Butterflies and moths are flying insects that have brightly coloured wings. There are about 100 000 different types of butterflies and moths in our world today. They live in all regions, except Antarctica.

Physical features

Like all insects, butterflies and moths have three pairs of legs . Their bodies are divided into three parts: the head, thorax and abdomen. Butterflies have a large eye on both sides of their head and two pairs of wings on the middle part of the body. When you touch them you can feel dust-like scales. They grow in rows and give the wings their special colours. These insects have a good sense of taste, especially for sweet things .

Butterflies and moths can be big or small. The smallest moths have wings that are only a few mm wide. Some have wingspans of up to 30 cm.

Differences

Although butterflies and moths may look alike they are different in some ways. The best way to tell them apart is by looking at their feelers or antennae . Butterfly feelers are thinner and the ends have small round knobs on them. Moth feelers don’t have these knobs, they look like more like feathers.

Butterfly wings are usually more colourful and brighter than those of moths . Moths have a thicker body and smaller wings than butterflies.

Most butterflies fly during the daytime while moths are more active at night.

Behaviour

Butterflies and moths eat the nectar of flowers. Some species also eat mosses and ferns. Others may eat seeds and dead plants that lie on the ground.

Some insects travel over large distances. Several species in Europe and North America migrate to warmer regions during the winter and come back to their normal habitat in summer.

Life cycle

Butterflies and moths pass through four stages in life:

  • EGG
    The first stage is the egg. Females lay their eggs on plants.
  • LARVA
    Eggs hatch into small worms that are known as caterpillars. Such caterpillars are busy and hungry. They eat a lot, sometimes twice as much as their own weight every day. After a few days their bodies become too big and their skins crack open. This is called moulting . A caterpillar can shed its skin many times during this phase.

Caterpillar of a moth — В Greg Hume
  • PUPA
    After moulting, caterpillars rest. Sometimes they bury their bodies into the ground. Other caterpillars hide in logs or rest in cocoons that they make. This resting stage can last for a few weeks, sometimes even for a whole winter. During this period a caterpillar changes into an adult butterfly.
  • ADULT
    When caterpillars come out of their rest the wings are soft and wet. They fan the wings to pump blood into them and to dry and harden them. After a few hours the adult butterfly is ready to fly. Most adults live between four and six weeks. Some live only a few days while others may live up to ten months.

Butterflies and moths have many enemies, especially birds. In order to survive they protect themselves in different ways. Some butterflies have a bad smell . Other species have strange marks on them that frighten away birds. In addition, many butterflies and moths that are in rest look like dead animals or the twigs of leaves.

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Where Do Carpet Moths Come From?

If carpet moths have never invaded your house, consider yourself lucky, because carpet moth infestation can be a costly problem as it can cause serious and often irreparable damage to your carpets. In order to understand where they come from and avoid an infestation, there is beneficial information about them that you can find below.

So, where do carpet moths come from? They usually live outdoors, where they live in nests, animal skin or fur. Since they are small, we do not recognize carpet moths outside our houses. They become a matter of attention after coming into our houses to live with us. Although they can fly into homes through doors or windows, moths usually get indoors with infested food products or fabrics. Carpet moth larvae eat keratin found in natural fibers like wool, which is why wool carpets are great places for them to live on.

Moths can live in many environments, but home environments are their favorite habitat. These creatures, who are textile enemies, can cause unexpectedly great damage from their appearance and make you have to throw away all your clothes and carpets. There are many different types of moths according to their appearance and size. The colors of moth varieties generally consist of red, brown and gray.

Moths take their names from what they feed. The carpet moth also lives on the carpet and is fed with dust, dirt, and hairs on the carpet. Carpet moth, which is smaller than clothes moth and grain moth, has decisive and characteristic features.

The Tapestry Moth or Carpet Moth (Trichophaga tapetzella) can be found worldwide. Carpet moths are different from a common house moth. There are some characteristic features of carpet moths which can be helpful for you to find out if you are sharing your house with these insects.

Carpet moth’s wings are usually patterned, they have antennae on their heads and they also have feathers on the underside of their bodies. Mothwing colors, sizes and movements play a major role in determining the type. The life cycle of the carpet moths is 1 year, when the wings are open, the size reaches up to 14-18 mm. Between April and October, the larvae of the carpet moths develop in animal skins, woolen clothes, and carpets. When they start life, they look like worms, then go through the caterpillar phase, and finally get their butterfly-like appearance.

The carpet moth is relatively small in size than a common house moth. They have a body about 5mm long and a wingspan of about 14-18mm. They are buff-colored. Usually, they have forewings with three distinct dots. Their hind wings are lighter in color and smaller in size. Also, it is common to find a larvae of the carpet moth the same color as your carpet fibers since they have eaten the dyes in the carpet pile.

The carpet moths do not fly that often and you can see them hopping on the floor instead of flying. Local temperature, food supplies, and even humidity are crucial determinants for their speed of development and life cycle. It can take as fast as 8 weeks for them to become adults, resulting in several generations during the summer. But in winter, the last generation of larvae will stay at the larvae stage and wait for the warmer spring days to pupate and restart this cycle.

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· Carpet moths generally occur in carpets. This is because the carpet is dusty and maintenance-free.

· Because they are small, they are not easily noticed in the wild. But their damage can reach considerable levels, and carpet moths have the capacity to eat up your entire carpet.

· If the damage to your carpet is not too great, moths that capture your carpet may be clothes moths.

· Your home creates the perfect environment for carpet moths. If you lift your carpets in an airless and damp place, they become even more attractive.

· They can live on carpets without a trace. However, they do not have to wait long to see the damage they have left. Carpet moths, which multiply in a short time, show their traces within a few weeks.

· If you have a worn and dusty carpet, it means that you are exposed to moth infestation.

The common house moth and carpet moth have very similar life cycles. The adult moths do not live much long but still, female ones can lay hundreds of eggs in their brief lifetime.

They lay their eggs in dark, hidden, quiet parts of carpets and rugs in the house and it takes around 4 to 10 days for hatching. The life of their larvae depends upon the temperature and they can live for up to 2 years which means continued damage to your carpets since they eat through the winter times. But in summer days, they pupate in 2 months, which means a number of cycles through Spring to Autumn months. The pupation stage of their life lasts up to 2 weeks before they become adults. The adults are harmless to your carpets and live only 2-3 months. But the risk at this point is further egg-laying inside your house and infestation getting out of hand. Therefore treatment procedures should deal with both adult and larval stages of carpet moths.

How to Control Your House for Carpet Moths?

The main indicator of an infestation of carpet moths is small balding patches at the edges and in the corners of your carpets. This problem will not be solved without immediate attention, on the contrary, it will get even worse. An infestation of carpet moths can get out of hand really fast since in their short adult life, mated female carpet moths can lay around 200 eggs and they are really stubborn when it comes to leaving your house.

First of all, the beginning of a successful moth check is the inspection of the building entrances and exits. The first thing to do is to get help from an expert pest control company. Thus, the entrance and exit cracks that allow moth in the building can be controlled. This is, of course, the first step in controlling the threat.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Moths?

The treatment routines are the same irrespective of the moth type that invades your home. If you have experienced moths in your home and you are expecting them to reach other rooms in your house, you may want to consider putting your clothes in wardrobes, closets, and drawers which are more sheltered.

They prefer dark, hidden corners to live so you need to hunt them down. There are some natural ways to trap the adult carpet moths such as moth papers. You may also use insecticide sprays for the furniture cracks, loose rugs and skirting boards. Even though all these sprays are supposed to work, they are really stubborn and it may take a number of repeated treatments to get rid of them.

How to get rid of moths in the house is one of the most important questions when you have them in your house. Here is what you need to do. Like many pests, moths enter the house through open windows and doors. For this reason, you should cover the bottom of the door and install mosquito nets on the windows. When placing your clothes, make sure that they are not dirty. You should keep your clothes in plastic containers and luggage. You should regularly vacuum sections such as wardrobe shelves, kitchens drawers, and furniture benches. The most traditional method is to put naphthalene between the clothes is an effective method, it is mostly recommended to apply.

Moths, like most pests, enter your house through open windows, under doors, cracks in walls and gaps. You should take the mosquito nets and fill the cracks with silicone caulk. This process should be applied especially for cellars, warehouses, and warehouses. You can pour boric acid powder, which is effective in many pests into cracks and voids. Boric acid is available in pharmacies and in shops selling medical chemicals.

Vacuum Cleaner: Frequent vacuuming of carpets with a high vacuum is one of the ways to get rid of moths completely. A sufficiently powerful machine picks up moths, eggs, and dust, plundering living spaces. Thus, you will have a major blow to the life cycle of carpet moths. But the vacuum cleaner alone may not be enough to get rid of the moths.

Brushing: You can apply the brushing method to get rid of both clothes moths and carpet moths. You can get rid of the moth residue when you brush your carpets and clothes with a strong and sturdy brush.

Turpentine: Another way to get rid of moths that seize your carpets after the vacuum cleaner and scrubbing with a cloth dipped in turpentine. Thanks to turpentine which will remove the moths, your carpet can be saved from the moth infestation.

Fly Paper and Fish Oil: You must use fish oil in order to trap moths. Moths can never resist fish oil. You should take the flypaper and put some fish oil on it, then place it in your closet or near your carpet. Moths prefer to go to flypaper instead of your clothes or carpet and stick to flypaper.

You can also be protected from carpet moths in natural ways. You can get rid of moths naturally. Moths hate some materials. There are some odors that moths disgust from sniffing and not even approaching.

Lavender: This fragrant plant is powerful enough to miss the moths. Putting lavender pouches between your clothes and carpets will make them smell nice and will help you miss the moths.

Lemon: Grate the lemon peel and fill it into small pouches. Place the felts in the drawer or on the shelves of your wardrobe.

Soap: Moths do not like everything that smells almost miserable. Therefore, it is recommended that you take the soap from the good smelling and put it in the pocket or between your woolen clothes and carpets.

Cedar: The smell of the cedar tree misses moths. You can buy holes which are made of cedar wood or put wood shavings on the shelves of your wardrobe and carpets.

Carpet moths are very fast-growing creatures that lay 200 to 400 eggs at a time. This means that you may be faced with the danger of moth infestation at an unexpected time, which is really disturbing. Therefore, you should solve this problem by taking moth spraying services from professional pest control companies.

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5 Steps in Order to Control Carpet Moth

1 – Clean Thoroughly

For a moth-free house, the key thing is keeping a tidy and clean house and clothing. All kinds of moths are feed with moisture and food traces together with natural fibers of your carpets and clothing. They are attracted to food stains, spills and smells so it is crucial for a moth-free life keeping all your textiles clean and tidy. You should vacuum your carpets on a regular base and wash your items of clothing.

It is additionally essential to use your clothing – the more you wear, fold and launder items, the less they sit around on a dark shelf getting dust, waiting for unwanted guests! For your unused clothes like winter clothes in summer days, you may expose them to the sun and check them for the moths regularly.

For carpets, while vacuuming regularly, do not miss the spots under sofas and edges of the skirting boards since moths prefer darker hidden areas for living undisturbed. For moth control in the kitchen, keep all your drawers and cupboards clean and packages sealed. You may use airtight containers for not leaving anything out in open.

2 – Prevention Is Better Than Cure

You may think using moth deterrents if you have natural wool carpets or clothing with wool or cashmere that you are worried about being ruined by moths. For deterring moths, you can put scented products around your house, inside wardrobes, cupboards, and drawers. Sprays, drawer liners, scented sachets, and hanging units will do the job.

While packing your winter clothing, keep in mind to put scented products with them and if possible, using secure bags to deter moths. But do not pick plastic bags which will cause extra humidity and attract moths, also damage your knitwear. If you are using suit carriers, make sure to seal them to avoid moths getting inside them.

Using natural moth sprays which can be sprayed onto clothes is also a good idea for protecting your clothes from moths. In order to protect your carpets in bedrooms and living rooms, it is strongly recommended that installing moth traps in order to reduce the impact of the infestation by breaking the breeding cycle of carpet moths.

3 – Monitor

You should keep an eye on your house, especially carpets and clothing, looking for signs of possible moth damage. Pheromone traps that contain female pheromones are great for monitoring moths. Male moths are attracted to them and thus visit the traps and get stuck onto the sticky parts of these traps. It is the best way of knowing the presence of moths in your house and also helps to break the breeding cycle by preventing female adult moths from laying eggs. The male moths only fly at night in search of female moths. By using these traps, you can see the extent of the problem. In the case of finding moths in the trap, you can require further action for eliminating eggs or larvae which may be present in your house.

4 – Fast Action

On the off chance that you see indications of moth harm or discover moths in a moth box or trap, there are various quick-acting moth killing items accessible that will produce results on eggs, larvae, and adult moths, to stop your problem promptly. Watching out for the moths is vital to prevent any harm to materials before it occurs, as the moth larvae are the guilty parties for eating carpets and clothes you should eliminate any moths previously they breed and lay eggs.

5 – Maintain

In the event that you have had moth issues previously, or in the event that you are keen to prevent any incident, later on, it is best to take keep moth deterrent items to secure your clothes, carpets, and food from moth harm. You should keep in mind that open windows can welcome new moths into your home at any time!

All year it is best to keep a scented supply of cedarwood items and scented sachets with your wool textiles and food moth trap in the kitchen or larder. After some time the viability of cedarwood items for moth control may reduce yet they are effectively revived by sanding them lightly and including a couple of drops of fundamental cedar oil.

Do Carpet Moths Eat Synthetic Carpets?

Another frequently asked question is about the fabric of the carpets which carpet moths prefer to eat. Even though carpet moths do not prefer to eat synthetic carpets, the fibers of synthetic carpets are still the perfect place for moths in order to hide their eggs.

Regardless of whether you do not have wool or silk carpets (and a great many people do not), that does not imply that you will have a moth-free life. The fibers of synthetic carpets are as yet the ideal place for carpet moths to leave their eggs. At the point when these eggs incubate, the hatchlings may not eat the strands of manufactured carpets, but rather they will eat the soil that gathers in it.

Moth larvae need nutrients to grow and household dirt is packed with their food. Skin, hair, food spill collected on any bit of carpet can be a feast for them. When their population increases, adult moths try to find new places as breeding grounds and these may be another dirty dark corner of your carpets.

Are Carpet Moths Dangerous?

Luckily, they are not dangerous in themselves. The biggest threat they pose is of the infestation of your house and food spoiling. This leads to increased living costs for you, although moths and their eggs are not dangerous to your health.

The main reason why moths are dangerous is that they can spread to your house very fast. In addition, moths can invade everywhere. The preferred places of moths are almost every place within your house which is difficult to access such as holes, cracks, inside walls and so on.

How Do You Get Rid of Carpet Moths Naturally?

What about non-toxic natural methods, which will not affect you in any way but still help you with your fight with carpet moths? You can vacuum regularly to remove any eggs or debris that might be on/in the carpet. You can make your own natural repellant that will also smell lovely.

You can place dried rosemary, thyme, cloves, lavender or bay leaves into a small cloth bag and hang them in your wardrobe and also place them in your drawers. You may also use mint leaves and peppermint oil as moth repellants. We love the smell of herbs, but moths hate them. You may want to change these herb bags when they lose their fragrance. You can buy your herbs from natural food stores or from some grocery stores.

While using natural methods, you should be sure to keep all your herbs and oils out of the reach of kids and pets. They may be natural, but it does not mean that they are harmless.

Which Temperature Level Does Kill Carpet Moth Eggs?

Carpet moths can be killed by heating an infested textile for 30 minutes (or more) at temperatures above 120 F/50 C. Also, by ironing, you can kill all stages of the moth. Heat treatment with a space heater is another option for your closet and carpets. Keeping wool clothes and other unused textiles in the attic during hot summer days can help for protecting these textiles from moth infestation. Carpet moths would be killed if these textiles can remain hot enough for a long time.

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Cold temperatures kill the moths as well as heat. For this treatment, it is enough to pack infested textiles into a plastic bag and put them in the deep freezer for at least one week. A sudden change of temperature is another option for the treatment, especially from warm to cold. Storing wool textiles in unheated storages where temperatures are below the freezing point for long periods can still not be enough for a moth infestation. Cold storage areas may make moths inactive, but there is still a chance that it will not kill them.

When Are Carpet Moths Most Active?

As temperature rises, the population of moths rises as well. Summer days are the time that the carpet moth population rises and reaches its most active days. Eggs hatch within 10 days during warm summer months but hatching takes longer in winter; usually up to a month. Of course, not only temperature but humidity and food supplies are crucial for their life cycle. The carpet moths fly from April to October, but their most active season is the summer season.

During a day, at night time they are more active because hot, direct sunlight will drive away moths and kill eggs and larvae. Moths avoid light and are likely to be found in dark areas where woolens are stored. That is why they usually rest during the day and come out at night. When disturbed, moths try to hide by flying to a dark corner or by hopping or running for cover. Carpet moths are not attracted to light as most believed and avoid lighted areas.

How Should You Store the Carpets in Your Homes?

Our first step in storing carpets and rugs is that carpets should be stored in rolls and not folded. When you roll your carpet and rugs, make sure that the pile is in terms of laying. Wool carpets that you do not use during this time will definitely make carpet moth. In order to prevent this, put mothballs in it and ventilate your wool carpets for 1-2 months and refresh the mothballs.

The carpet to be stored must be clean. It is important to vacuum the cleaned carpet with a vacuum cleaner before removing it, to completely remove the dust, lint and dust crumbs on it and to prevent moth formation. You should then roll the carpet firmly in the direction of hairs on the carpet.

If you are going to keep your carpet for a long time and do not use it, you should put mothballs in between to prevent moths. The carpet made by the roll is tied with rope so that it cannot be opened. An old sheet or cloth bag is put on it and packaged properly and stored without bending vertically or horizontally. If it is to be stored for a long time, it is necessary to open and ventilate the carpet once a month and to re-close the naphthalene in the same way by renewing the carpet.

In addition, carpet carpets sold in the market when storing carpets is one of the products that will provide you convenience. Since these bags are made of air-permeable fabrics, it is possible to store your carpet without being moist, dusting and thus moth formation. It will be a very practical storage method in order to place the carpet that you have brought into the shape of a roll in this bag and to close the zipper on the floor.

Products for Protection from Moths

Reefer-Galler SLA Cedar Scented Spray Kills Clothes Moths, Carpet Beetles, and Eggs and Larvae

It is one of Amazon’s choices. It is highly recommended by customers. It is used for quick, immediate protection. It kills on contact not only moths, carpet beetles, and silverfish, but many other flying and crawling insects. It will not stain and leaves behind a fresh cedar scent.

It is great for protecting delicate woolens, cashmere and other items. Flies, bees, roaches, moths, and mosquitos all have one thing in common–they are not welcome in your home. From flyswatters to mothballs, cedar spray to roach powder, we have your pest repellent needs covered. You can keep your home pest-free with these products.

Reefer-Galler NO Moth Closet Hanger Kills Clothes Moths, Carpet Beetles, and Eggs and Larvae

This is an ideal product to not only protect you from moths but to also freshen up your closet. It also overcomes stale tobacco, perspiration and other unpleasant odors in all types of fabrics. A pleasant wildflower perfume will transform your closet and release a delightful scent. It kills moths and moth larvae as well. It is a great product with multiple uses.

This product is especially perfect for use in closet and storage areas. It kills clothes moths, carpet beetles, and their eggs and larvae. Made to hang on the closet rod or sit on the closet shelf, it will not leave a mothball odor. You can say goodbye to indoor bug problems.

Eco Defense Home Pest Control Spray, USDA Biobased

Wonderful smelling product with an aroma similar to geraniums. It naturally kills and repels home-invading pests including house roach, spiders, ants, fleas, moths, earwigs, stink bugs, mites, scorpion, silverfish and other common household pets.

It is an organic and natural product. It has non-toxic ingredients. It is the perfect solution for those looking to keep their homes free of pests and insects without the dangers of artificial sprays, baits, and pesticides commonly found on the market. It is both fast-acting and long-lasting. This product kills fast and helps keep them out. It is safe to use all around your places.

Pro-Pest Pantry Moth Traps – 6 Ready to Use Pre-Baited Traps – 3 Packs of 2 Traps

According to customers’ reviews, it is the best option that you can find on Amazon. This product will attract Indian meal moth, almond, raisin, tobacco, and Mediterranean flour moths and cigarette beetles. Since pheromones are pre-loaded in the glue, it is ready to use! These pantry moth traps are easy to use and extremely effective. The moth pheromones attract the male moths and disrupt the mating process. It can be hung or can be placed on a shelf. Change out as needed, or up to every two months.

It will last for up to 60 Days. The traps are designed to capture pantry moths including Indian Meal Moths, Mediterranean Flour Moths, Almond Moths, Raisin Moths, and Cigarette Beetles. To use this trap simply remove the release paper on the trap to expose the glue. The trap is already pre-baited with pheromones, so all you need to do is form the trap into a box form and hang it in areas of moth activity.

I’m a software engineer. I like history and reading about carpets. I like to play soccer too 🙂

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