Nights in the summer are the time where moths begin to flock towards the light surrounding your house. Though they are harmless, they’re far from how you’d envision your ideal summer night. Not surprisingly, moths are one of the most common pests that we work with during the summer months. When there are consistent light sources available for these pests to fly towards, it’s not uncommon for infestations to become an issue and quickly get out of hand.

The Basics of Moths

Though the large groups of moths may all appear to be the same, moths are one of the largest insect families in the world. With over 160,000 different species, moths are incredibly diverse and have many characteristics that separate them from one another. From size to color, there are so many different ways that you can distinguish one species from the other. When you’re unaware of the diversity and unique elements of these insects, it’s very easy to off them as pests.

We’re going to dive a little bit more into these specific insects so that you’re able to get a good understanding of what these insects are doing around your home.

Difference Between Butterflies & Moths

When you look at a moth, you can easily see how similar their body construct and their flight pattern are similar to that of a butterfly. Though they are extremely similar, you’re still able to tell the two apart when you see them side by side. So what is it that makes these two different enough that we can notice it?

The Antennae

One of the very first ways that you can distinguish a moth from a butterfly is by looking at their antennae. The butterfly’s antennae will be club-shaped with a long shaft and a small bulb at the tip. A moth’s, on the other hand, will be saw-edged, feathery, and light. Though it may not be the first thing that you notice, this is one of the quickest ways to differentiate the two.


Wings

As you may have assumed, the wings of these two insects are also a great way to differentiate. Yes, the color of the wings will be a big giveaway — but there’s more. The size of the wings will be another differentiating factor for you to take into consideration. For starters, butterflies will usually have larger wings than moths. The butterfly wings are generally colorful and include patterns while moths have dull colored wings. The two also fold their wings extremely different. Moths fold their wings in a fashion similar to that of a tent. Butterflies, on the other hand, will fold theirs vertically, directly over their back. Both of these folds are something that you’ve likely seen before and have factored into ways to differentiate the two without even realizing it.


Life Stages

Aside from differentiating in their appearance, these two insects have incredibly different life cycles that they go through in order to reach their adult stages. While both insects start out as larvae, they do go through very different steps before they become adults. It’s interesting, however, that most people correlate the transitioning phase of the moth with that of the butterfly.

Cocoons are the covering stage of a moth larvae when it is transitioning to an adult. The cocoon is wrapped in a silk covering. This is commonly associated with butterflies, though they use something called a chrysalis during this step, instead of a cocoon. A chrysalis is much harder in texture, providing a tough shell for the larvae to be protected by, instead of the silk coating that moths use. Though they are different methods, the two are similar in that they require some sort of sheltering when transitioning from larvae to an adult.


Behavior

The last big difference that we’re going to touch on will be their behavior. This is another one of the separating factors that you’re likely aware of, but never really spent much time thinking about. Behavior is a huge component of how these two are different from one another, given that butterflies are going to be out primarily during the day and moths are usually nocturnal insects.

There are a few moths that are known for flying during the day, but more often than not, you’ll only see moths flying once the sun has set. This is why when you think of butterflies, you’re likely envisioning them during a warm day while moths are often thought of as flying around a bright light at night. If you’re ever stumped at which one you’re looking at, this difference in behavior should clear things up pretty immediately.


Interesting Facts About Moths

Though these insects are often viewed as pests, there are so many different facts about them that make them interesting insects to come across. Here are a few of the most interesting facts that we’ve come to learn about moths.

  • There are many more species of moths than butterflies. Both moths and butterflies belong to the Lepidoptera family. All species of butterflies make up anywhere from six to 11 percent of the Lepidoptera family, while moths make up roughly 84 to 94 percent of the Lepidoptera family.
  • Moths are Holometabolus. This means that they require a complete metamorphosis in their lifestyle. They begin as an egg, turn into larvae, will build their cocoon and then turn into an adult moth.
  • The largest moths are known as the Atlas moths. They have a wingspan that can grow to be as large as 12 inches. On the other end of the spectrum, the smallest moth is a part of the pygmy moth family and has a wingspan as small as 3/32 of an inch.
  • Moths are also pollinators of various plant species.
  • A few species of moths have short lifespans and live a life where their only purpose is to reproduce and lay eggs. Three of the most common moth species with this type of lifestyle are the Luna, Atlas, and Prometheus.

The more that you learn about moths, the more fascinating these insects become!

What Attracts Moths

Moths are an extremely familiar pest to have around your home, and while some may find them to be interesting insects, having an infestation isn’t ideal. Given that there are so many different species to take into consideration, it’s essential that you realize that there are going to also be a variety of reasons that moths are attracted to your house depending on their species.

Certain moths known as pantry moths are attracted to dry goods — this is one of the reasons that they are called pantry moths. If you have issues with moths inside of your house, then there’s a good chance that they are finding a dry-food source to feed on.

Other types of moths will be attracted to a space because there is a light source that has attracted them there in the first place. If you notice that there is a light outside of your home that is drawing them in, find a way to turn it off or find an alternative source of light so that you don’t have to worry about moths being attracted to your home in the first place.

Though there are so many different things that attract moths, we’re going to quickly break down the three most common types of moths and what attracts them to a space in the first place.

Food Moths

Certain types of food could be attracting moths to come to your home. When it comes to food moths, stored foods are going to be one of the first things that attract them. These species of moths will feed off of food items like grains, nuts, and other processed products that can be found in your pantry or on the counter. The unfortunate component of these moths is that once they’ve found a way in your home and have managed to get into a source of food, they are incredibly likely to lay their eggs in the food and that will be the beginning of a severe infestation.


Clothes Moths

If the moths inside your house aren’t feeding off of your dried food, then they are most likely clothes moths. These moths find and attach themselves to specific materials. It’s the fibers of wool, silk, and fur that are most likely to attract moths. When these types of infestations occur, the homeowners are most likely to find the damage in their clothes. These moths will feed off of the fibers and will leave their fecal droppings on the material. Moths that feed off of clothing will create a silk barrier when they are feeding to protect them during this process. If you’re noticing these types of residues are lingering on your clothes, then there’s a good chance that you’ll find eggs laid in them as well, if not a full-blown infestation.


Dealing With Moth Infestations

If you have a moth infestation at your house, then the one thing that you’re really concerned with is how you can go about removing them. Though these insects are far from harmful, they do require a pretty intensive removal plan to eliminate them entirely. At Earthwise Pest Management, we take the removal of pests very seriously. Through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods, we are able to responsibly remove these pests from your home and provide you with a long-term solution.

About Our Company

Our owner, Joe Hawkins, has grown up around the industry and has had a vast knowledge of pest control from an early age. After years of working for other companies, Joe finally decided that it was time to start his own business that focused solely on integrated pest control management. This specific type of pest control solution is one that provides long-term solutions and in-depth inspections to ensure that pests don’t return to your home.

Integrated Pest Management – The Method of Choice

When you think of pest management, the long-term goal is to eliminate the pest that you’re dealing with, right? Of course it is! There are plenty of ways to eliminate pests, and many pest control companies turn to chemical removal because it eliminates the pest. The one issue to this, however, is that the problem isn’t being removed from the root. You see there is a reason that these pests gravitated toward your home in the first place, and without knowing what that is, you’re only going to continue to struggle with this problem in the future.

Integrated pest management looks at the root of the problem and inspects the infested area to determine what it is that is making it easy for the pest to survive in this area. Once we’ve determined what is creating this ideal living circumstances for the pest, we figure out how to remove it so that you’re able to have long-term solutions to your pest problems.

When you contact our team to assist you with a moth infestation, the first thing that we’re going to do is determine what is attracting these moths in the first place. As we mentioned earlier, there are countless species of moths and each one is attracted to something different or requires something different to find a habitat that they can survive in. For that reason, we do our best to thoroughly inspect the infested area and determine what it is that is attracting these pests in the first place.

Once we’ve figured out what’s attracting them, we will work to configure a long-term solution. This will include educating you on what the issue that is attracting the pest is so that you know, in the future, how to best avoid it. We will then work as a team to determine the best way to go about removing the pests responsibly so that you’re able to enjoy a pest free home for the foreseeable future. From there it is all about monitoring and maintaining the setting so that pests aren’t able to return.

Schedule Your Services Today

If you’re struggling with a moth infestation and you’re ready to find a long-term solution, then it’s time that you contact the team at Earthwise Pest Management. We provide a wide variety of pest control services throughout California. Whether you have a question regarding the method that we use, need a consult on an infestation around your house, or you are ready to schedule your services — reach out to our team today. We are eager to help you in any way that we can.

Areas We Serve

Earthwise Pest Management is proud to offer our services to countless individuals in California. Browse the list below for areas that we serve and contact us today to book your services.

  • Auburn
  • Carmichael
  • Citrus Heights
  • Davis
  • El Dorado
  • Elk Grove
  • Folsom
  • Granite Bay
  • Mather
  • Natomas
  • Orangevale
  • Rancho Cordova
  • Rocklin
  • Roseville
  • Sacramento
  • West Sacramento
  • Woodland