Types of Moths in Tennessee

Sharing the insect order Lepidoptera with butterflies, moths have touched nearly every part of the globe. With more than 160,000 species worldwide and some 11,000 species in the United States, moths are one of the only groups of insects that feature scales on their wings. Even more unique, these flying insects also can coil up their feeding tubes, which is a rare phenomenon in the insect kingdom. 

Although many types of moths coexist with humans, homeowners in Tennessee only have to worry about a few species invading their space and causing damage. Fortunately, U.S. Pest Protection is here to help you identify the types of moths that could cause you trouble in your home. 

Indian Meal Moths

Known as stored-product pests, Indian meal moths are common household pests that feed on grain products, seeds, dried fruit, dog food, and spices. Adult Indian meal moths can grow up to 0.5 inches and feature forewings that are reddish brown. The lower portion of their wings feature a copper sheen while the innermost portion features gray markings. 

When at rest, Indian meal moths’ wings sit in a roof-like position. These moths primarily contaminate food sources rather than eating them, which is due to discarded skin and fecal pellets collected by spun silk protective casings.

Mediterranean Flour Moths

Also considered stored-product pests, Mediterranean flour moths are common in mills, warehouses, grocery stores, restaurants, and homes. As their name implies, these moths are known to infest flour, as well as nuts, chocolate, seeds, beans, biscuits, dried fruits, and many other stored foods. 

Adult Mediterranean meal moths are pale gray and can grow up to 1.5 inches long. With a wingspan slightly less than one inch, these moths feature two black zigzag lines along their forewings wings and sit at a slightly sloped angle while resting. These moths contaminate goods by attaching eggs to food particles and spinning silken tubes that form spheres in the product.

Webbing and Casemaking Clothes Moths

Webbing clothes moths feed on natural fiber sources, including clothes that feature keratin-rich animal hairs like cashmere, silk, wool, and many others. These moths are about 0.5 inches long and feature a beige or off-white hue. With narrow, fringed wings featuring small hairs, webbing clothes moths are rarely seen because they avoid light. 

Preferring dark, enclosed areas like basements, attics, and closets, the larvae of these moths pull their nutrition from natural fibers, which could lead to unrepairable damage to expensive garments. Casemaking clothes moths are very similar to webbing clothes moths, but they feature tiny, dark specks on their wings. 

Keep Moths at Bay with U.S. Pest Protection

No matter what type of moth has invaded your space, U.S. Pest Protection is at the ready to defend your dried foodstuffs and expensive garments. With industry-leading pest control technology in Tennessee, our certified technicians can ensure your home is moth-free all year long. Give one of our friendly team members a call today, or sign up now for your free moth inspection.

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