Common Clothes Moth - Tineola bisselliella


Wingspan 9 to 16 mm. Head pale ochreous to reddish ochreous, sometimes brownish at sides. Forewing pale ochreous buff, somewhat glossy, sometimes darker at base; base of costa dark brown.

Identification difficulty

This moth inhabits houses, and was at one time a pest species. Its decline is probably due to the increase in use of man-made fibres and the much drier atmosphere created by central heating.

When to see it

The moths are more or less continuously brooded except during the winter months.

Life History

The larva, as its vernacular name suggests, feeds on woollen clothing, upholstery and carpets, as well as other animal-based material, such as hair or fur. It lives in a silken tube, and when gregarious this can develop into dense matting.

UK Status

Formerly far commoner than it is these days. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

It appears to be uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland, where there are few records. L&R Moth Group status = D (rare or rarely recorded).

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map