Species of fabric pests

There are many different types of fabric pests that cause trouble for Canadians throughout Canada.

Frequently encountered species include:

  • Case-making clothes moth
  • Common or webbing clothes moth
  • Varied carpet beetle

Rarely encountered species include:

  • Brown house moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella)
  • Furniture carpet beetle (Anthrenus flavipes)
  • Black carpet beetle (Attagenus unicolor)

Learn more below about the different types of fabric pests found in Canada.

Case-making clothes moth

(Tineo pellionella)

Appearance

  • Approx. 7-10 mm long.
  • Forewings are silvery-buff with 3 dark spots.

Lifecycle

  • Lifecycle completion usually takes 3-8 months.
  • Larva up to 10 mm long when full grown.
  • Creamy white with dark head.
  • Usually protected in case made of silk and fibers of feeding material.

Habits

  • Can do extensive damage to woolens, felts, upholstered furniture, clothes, etc.

Webbing clothes moth

(Tineo bisselliella)

Appearance

  • Approx. 8-10 mm long.
  • Golden buff in colour.
  • Wings are fringed with no markings.
  • Wingspan about 12 mm.

Lifecycle

  • Completes in 3- 8 months.
  • Larva up to 12 mm long when full grown. Often found in a network of silken tubing.

Habits

  • Can damage a variety of animal products, including wool, fur, skins, clothing, carpets, upholstered furniture, and felt.
  • Larvae may be difficult to spot as they hide in a network of silken tubing.

Variegated carpet beetle

(Anthrenus verbasci)

Appearance

  • Approx. 2-3 mm long.
  • Mottled yellow, white and black.
  • Oval shape similar to a ladybird.

Lifecycle

  • Complete in 9-12 months.
  • Larva up to 4-5 mm long when fully fed.

Habits

  • Damages carpets, underfelt, woollens, fur, feathers.
  • Can attack stored items such as cereals and meat products.

Black carpet beetle

(Attogenus unicolar)

Appearance

  • Approx. 3-5 mm long.
  • Shiny black to dark brown, with brownish legs.

Lifecycle

  • Completes in 6-12 months.
  • Larva up to 7 mm long when fully fed.
  • Reddish brown covered with stiff bristles.

Habits

  • Relatively widespread and destructive.
  • Often associated with bird- nesting in roof cavities.
  • Amongst others, leather, silk, carpet, and felt all at risk of infestation.

Furniture carpet beetle

(Anthrenus flavipes)

Appearance

  • Approx. 2-3.5 mm long.
  • Mottled yellow, white and black markings.

Lifecycle

  • Completes lifecycle in 9-12 months.
  • Dark colour larva up to 5 mm long when fully fed.
  • Wide at front, narrow towards the rear.

Habits

  • Can do damage to upholstered furniture, carpets and some stored food products.
  • Not as destructive as black and variegated carpet beetles.

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