• Moths are closely related to the butterfly
  • They belong to the insect order Lepidoptera
  • There are over 200,000 moth species worldwide (possibly more waiting to be discovered)
  • Moths tend to have thick, hairy bodies
  • Their wings tend to be neutral or earth-like colours
  • They are active at night, resting during the day
  • Some moths have long tongues, known as a proboscis
  • Some adult moths do not eat
  • Their lifespan is short
  • They have smell receptors all over their body
  • They release pheromones to capture the interest of passing mates
  • The male moth can detect a female moth from 8kms away
  • Moths see differently to humans – they see ultraviolet rays
  • Moths use the moon and stars to navigate
  • They are an abundant food source and important to the earth’s biodiversity
  • Moths that are considered a pest problem include the common clothes moth, case bearing clothes moth, brown house moth and the white shouldered house moth
  • They ‘hide’ in folds of stored clothes and bedding, as well as in crevices of cases, boxes etc.


Nuisance scale: 2/10 MILD

Can cause damage to stored clothing, carpets, blankets, bedding

Hazard: 1/10 MILD

Do not spread disease, bite or sting


Size: Moths are small, winged creatures

Description: Can be brown, light brown, white, cream etc. in colour – they are not brightly coloured


  • Night blooming flowers often rely on moths for pollination
  • Moths are attracted to electric lights, confusing them
  • It is the pupae and larvae that cause the most damage
  • Some moth larvae will eat clothing etc. with as little as 25% natural fibres