Moths are insects which are most known for their fluffy appearing wings. The wings are actually covered with scales and if moths are handled, these scales will come off like dust. Moths are members of the order Lepidoptera which also includes butterflies.
Many members of this order have sucking mouthparts but some have undeveloped mouthparts. If the species does not have developed mouthparts, the adults do not feed.
The moths have life cycles of complete metamorphosis meaning that the eggs hatch into larvae, the larvae pupate, and the adults then emerge to start the life cycle over. Life cycle time varies with conditions and species but generally the adult stage is short.
Some stored product pests are moths. These include the Indianmeal moth, the Angoumois moth, the cocoa moth, and others. The Indianmeal moth is interesting in that it is one of the most common stored product or pantry pests found in food facilities and homes. The moth larvae usually feed on grains or grain based products such as dry dog food. When the larvae are ready to pupate, they move away from the food source to pupate or rest and prepare to emerge as adults. Upon emerging, these moths breed and lay eggs but do not feed.
Some moths will infest clothing and will make holes in fabric to the frustration of the owner. In the case of the two most common clothing moths, the Casemaking clothes moth and the Webbing clothes moth, the larvae do the damage. They then make a case to pupate or web depending on the species. Upon emerging, the adults will breed and start the cycle again.
Moths are particularly susceptible to traps which will reveal if there is an infestation. Commonly, the chemical to attract males is placed on a sticky trap and if moths are caught, then the professional can determine species and best control methods. By them themselves, pheromone traps will usually not control a population.