Imagine seeing your favorite clothes with tiny holes on them.
It’s a sign that your closet is not safe from a bug that eats clothes. If you don’t know what insect has chewed a hole into your favorite top, chances are you’ll deal with more damaged clothes later on.
You may put all the blame on moths — as they’re the most common bug that pesters clothing. We know the different kinds of bugs that eat clothes. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you’ll know effective methods to keep them out of your closet indefinitely.
8 Types of Bugs That Eat Clothes in the Closet
Learn to identify the insect behind the damage to your clothes. Here are common bugs that eat your clothes:
1. Carpet Beetles
There are three different types of carpet beetles. The only difference between them is the color and pattern. Here are the three carpet beetles:
- Common Carpet Beetles – They have black, red, orange, and white scales. Their larvae are covered in fine hair and are reddish-brown in color.
- Variegated Carpet Beetles – This type of carpet beetle either has splotchy or solid colors of brown, yellow, white, and black. Their larvae are oval-shaped and have black or brown bristles.
- Black Carpet Beetles – They’re also known as Attagenus unicolor. Their legs are brownish, and their bodies have a solid black color. Their larvae can either be light yellow, golden, or dark brown.
The female carpet beetles love to lay their eggs in hidden places — furniture, clothing, carpets, and cracks in the flooring. Surprisingly, the larvae are the culprit behind damaged fabrics and not the beetles themselves–larvae like natural fibers such as mohair, feathers, fur, and wool.
Cockroaches are a danger — not only to your clothes but your general well-being. Their droppings carry disease and can stain your clothes. It’s no surprise why cockroaches are one of the notorious bugs that eat clothes. They will damage just about any kind of fabric.
They’re attracted to sweat, food and drink spills, body fluid stains, and laundry starch. When cockroaches find these stains, they eat them away, resulting in the weakening of fabrics.
Firebrats are related to silverfish — another bug that eats clothes. They’re usually ½- to ¼-inch long. They have brown and mottled silver coats. Silverfish have five legs and a carrot-shaped body. Unlike other bugs, firebrats don’t have wings. They prefer to cling to warm spaces and are highly active during the nighttime.
Once they find a source of food, they tend to stay close to it. They like any starched item and fabrics like rayon, cotton, and linen. Stains from sugar-based food or beverages are what attract firebrats. The damage is irregularly shaped. Firebrats usually follow the stain and eat away that part.
Another bug that eats clothes is crickets, although they’re not known for eating holes into your clothes. They also don’t like fresh and clean clothes. However, they’re attracted to food and beverage stains, body soil, and laundry starch. Crickets will feast on the stains, cutting the threads in the process.
The damage caused by crickets usually goes unnoticed until the clothes are washed and worn. If you notice a tear or a hole in your clothes that suddenly appeared, crickets may be to blame. The crickets also excrete waste that can stain your clothes. Rewash your clothes before wearing them again.
5. Case-Bearing Clothes Moths
Case-bearing clothes moth have a hard shell. They look like worms. Their larvae look like it’s carrying a flattened case that measures about ¼- to ½-inches. Case-bearing clothes moths cut holes in your clothes and other types of fabrics. They feed on flannel, wool, fur, soiled fabrics, and even your hair. The thing about this type of moth is that they’re so small and unnoticeable.
On the list of our bugs that eat clothes are termites. Termites are known for eating wood, so most people wouldn’t point to termites when they have damaged clothes. However, termites find food, beverages, and body soil stains attractive. As they eat away the stains, they often tear away the clothes’ fabric.
This bug is a cousin to the firebrats. They’re also wingless. Silverfish have five legs and are silver in color. They love to stay in dark rooms that have a temperature of 70°F. Like firebrats, they’re also active at night and stay close to their food source.
Silverfish like food stains, body soil, and fibers — cotton, silk, and rayon. They cut irregular holes in clothes as they follow the traces of the stains.
8. Webbing Clothes Moths
Webbing clothes moths are small and are pale gold in color. They have a wingspan of ¼ inch. Webbing clothes moths are weak fliers, so they don’t usually leave dark spaces. Like other types of bugs, adult moths don’t eat away on cashmere, mohair, and wool clothes. However, the larvae are a danger to your clothes resulting in holes.
Keep Bugs Away from Your Beloved Wardrobe
Aside from knowing how to get rid of bugs that eat clothes, you should also know who to trust when it comes to washing your bug-ridden clothes.
Kelly’s Dry Cleaners provides Green Earth cleaning in Durango. Our dry cleaning techniques are good for the environment and for your clothes. With us, be able to keep your clothes safe from any bugs. Call us!