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[column width=”2/3″ place=”last” ] Moths are in the insect Order Lepidoptera, and share this Order with Butterflies. There are some 160,000 species of moths in the world, compared to 17,500 species of butterflies. In the United States, there are nearly 11,000 species of moths. Moths (and their close relatives, the butterflies) are the only group of insects that have scales covering their wings, although there are a few exceptions. They differ from other insects also by their ability to coil up their feeding tube (the proboscis). Moths can usually be distinguished from butterflies by their antennae, which are typically threadlike or feathery; in contrast, butterflies have club-tipped antennae.


The Webbing Clothes Moth is the most commonly found clothes moth in the United States. Clothes moths prefer dark closets, attics or other areas and tend to live in dark corners, or in folds of fabric. They do fly around occasionally, but usually only on the edges of a lighted area, so they remain rather inconspicuous. In houses, clothes moths are most often pests of clothing, carpets, rugs, upholstery fabrics, piano felts, brush bristles, blankets, hair from pets, pet food, furs, lint from woolens, and any stored wool or silk products.