Home / Clothes Moths (Tineidae) / Common Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella)

Common Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella)

The common clothes moth is a member of the family of fungus moths. The larvae are a massive pest to fabrics and foodstuffs, most notably wool but also other natural and synthetic fibers.

Common Clothes Moth


Scientific Classification

Description and Identification


They are white, with the number of instars varying from specimen to specimen. Some have 5 instars, while others may go through as many as 45.

Common Clothes Moth Larvae



Pupation occurs inside a cocoon for 10-50 days.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

Forewings: When the wings are opened, they are a pale ocherous yellow. This color remains visible when the wings are closed.

Hindwings: When the wings are opened, they are grey-ish white. When the wings are closed, the colors and patterns remain the same.

Average wingspan: 0.9-1.6 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: Spring

Tineola bisselliella



Eggs are laid in clusters between 30 and 200 that adhere to surfaces with a gelatin-like glue.

Quick Facts

Other NamesWebbing clothes moth, clothing moth
DistributionWestern Palearctic
HabitatDim or dark areas, such as attics, basements, and closets
Lifespan of Adults15-30 days
Host PlantsCotton, furs, linen, silk, and wool fabrics
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • Swedish entomologist Arvid David Hummel first described this species in 1823.
Common Clothes Moth Image


Webbing Clothes Moth


Common Clothes Moth Picture


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