What Do Moths Eat

The diet of a moth changes drastically over its lifetime. Moths consume much more food in the caterpillar stage and only feed sparingly as adults to have the energy to flap their wings. Several moths, like the Hercules or Luna moths, do not even feed as adults.

Moths Eat

The diet of a moth

What do larvae eat

In this stage, moths aim to consume as much food as possible to gain weight and store energy for the pupal and adult stages. Their first meal is the cracked remains of their eggshell, after which they proceed to feed on the leaves of the host plant. However, their diet is not limited to just plant material; they also will try chewing on everything in their surroundings. This includes fur, hair, furniture, sawdust, oil, clothes, and foodstuffs. The clothes moth and casemaking clothes moth are notorious for their ability to damage clothing during this stage.

What do adults eat

The primary role of the moth as an adult is to breed. Hence several species do not even feed during this stage. Those that do consume nectar from flowers as well as other liquids like honeydew, juices from fruits, sap from trees, and manure.

Do moths drink water

No, moths do not drink water, indirectly fulfilling their requirements using nectar and tree sap.

How do they eat

Adult moths have a proboscis, a long appendage emerging from their head, serving as a straw to suck liquids.

Caterpillars have a set of jaws or mandibles meant for chewing.