Species of textile pests

Many types of textile pests have been recorded in New Zealand. It is mainly the introduced species, which are commonly found in homes or businesses.

Frequently encountered species include:

  • Case-bearing clothes moth
  • Common or webbing clothes moth
  • Variegated carpet beetle

Learn more below about the different types of textile pests found in New Zealand.

Case-bearing clothes moth

(Tineo pellionella)

Appearance

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

Habits

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

Webbing clothes moth

(Tineo/a bissellie/lo)

Appearance

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

Varied carpet beetle

(Anthrenus verbasci)

Appearance

  • Forewings dark at base, outer parts creamy white.
  • Wingspan about 19 mm.
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Lifecycle

  • Complete in approx. 3-6 months.
  • Larva may grow to about 15 mm long.
  • Prefers coarse materials and constructs silk-lined galleries.

Habits

  • Typically attacks old carpets, feltings and the fur and feathers of stuffed animals.
  • Not very common species.