Insect Pests

Moth control
Carpet Moth
Moth prevention
Damage done to fabric by moths

Clothes / Carpet Moth

Tineola bisselliella , known as the common clothes moth ,carpet moth, webbing clothes moth , or simply clothing moth , is a species of fungus moth ( family Tineidae , subfamily Tineinae ). It is the type species of its genus Tineola .

The larvae ( caterpillars ) of this moth are considered a serious pest , as they can derive nourishment from clothing – in particular WOOL, but many other natural fibers – and also, like most related species, from stored foods, such as grains.

Life cycle
Females lay eggs in clusters of between 30 and 200 which adhere to surfaces with a gelatin-like glue. These hatch between four and ten days later into near-microscopic white caterpillars which immediately begin to feed. They will also spin mats under which to feed without being readily noticed and from which they will partially emerge at night or under dark conditions to acquire food. Development to the next stage takes place through between five and 45 instars typically over the course of between one month and two years until the pupal stage is reached. At this point, the caterpillars spin cocoons and spend another approximately 10–50 days developing into adults.
After pupation is complete, the adult moths emerge and begin searching for mates. Females tend to move less than males, and both sexes prefer scuttling over surfaces to flying— some adults never fly at all. Adults can live for an additional 15–30 days, after which they die (otherwise death takes place shortly after mating for males and shortly after egg laying for females). Life cycle may be completed within one month under the most favorable conditions (75 °F (24 °C) and 70-75% relative humidity ) but may take several years (lower temperatures and humidity will only slow development, larvae will still hatch and grow at temperatures as low as 10 °C (50 °F) and can survive up to 33 °C (91 °F)).
Unlike the caterpillars, the adult moths do not feed: they acquire all of the nutrition and moisture they need while in the larval stage, and once they hatch from cocoons their only goal is to reproduce. They have only atrophied mouth parts and cannot feed on fabric or clothing. All feeding damage is done by the caterpillar (larval) form. Heated buildings allow clothes moths to develop year-round. The overall life cycle from egg to egg typically takes 4–6 months, with two generations per year.
Range and ecology
Adult specimen Larval form
This moth's natural range is western Eurasia, but it has been transported by human travelers to other localities. For example, it is nowadays found in Australia. The species' presence has not been recorded in France, Greece, Slovenia and Switzerland, though this probably reflects the lack of occurrence data rather than absence.
This species is notorious for feeding on clothing and natural fibers; they have the ability to digest keratin protein in wool and silk. The moths prefer dirty fabric for oviposition and are particularly attracted to carpeting and clothing that contains human sweat or other organic liquids which have been spilled onto them; traces of dirt may provide essential nutrients for larval development. Larvae are attracted to these areas not only for the food but for traces of moisture; they do not require liquid water.
The range of recorded foodstuffs includes cotton, linen, silk and wool fabrics as well as furs. They will eat synthetic fibers if they are blended with wool. Furthermore, they have been found on shed feathers and hair, bran, semolina and flour (possibly preferring wheat flour), biscuits, casein, and insect specimens in museums. In one case, living T. bisselliella caterpillars were found in salt. They had probably accidentally wandered there, as even to such a polyphagous species as this one pure sodium chloride has no nutritional value and is in fact a strong desiccant , but this still attests to their robustness. Unfavourable temperature and humidity can slow development, but will not always stop it.
Both adults and larvae prefer low light conditions. Whereas many other Tineidae are drawn to light, common clothes moths seem to prefer dim or dark areas. If larvae find themselves in a well-lit room, they will try to relocate under furniture or carpet edges. Handmade rugs are a favorite, because it is easy for the larvae to crawl underneath and do their damage from below. They will also crawl under moldings at the edges of rooms in search of darkened areas where fibrous debris has gathered and which consequently hold good food.
Pest control
Airtight containers should be used to prevent re-infestation once eggs, larvae, and moths are killed by any of these methods.
Physical measures
Brushing vigorously in bright light can dislodge eggs and larvae, which may drop to the ground.
Clothing moth traps – Usually consisting of adhesive-lined cardboard enclosures baited with artificial pheromones , this measure can help monitor the current infestation and prevent males from mating with females.
Dry cleaning – This kills moths on existing clothing and helps remove moisture from clothes.
Freezing – Freezing the object for several days at temperatures below 18 °F (−8 °C)
Heat (120 °F or 49 °C for 30 minutes or more) – these conditions may possibly be achieved by placing infested materials in an attic or sun-baked automobile in hot weather, or by washing clothes at or above this temperature. Specialist pest controllers can also provide various methods of heat treatment.
Vacuuming – Since the moths like to hide in carpeting and skirting, this is an important step towards full eradication. After thorough vacuuming, the bag should immediately be disposed of outside.

Mothballs – Used primarily as a preservative but also will kill existing larvae if the concentration is high enough. There are two types of mothball: early twentieth century ones were often based on naphthalene , while mid twentieth century ones often used paradichlorobenzene . Both chemical crystals sublimate into a gas, which is heavier than air and needs to reach a high concentration around the protected material to be effective. Disadvantages: Vapors are toxic and carcinogenic ; mothballs are poisonous and should not be put where they can be eaten by children or pets. Naphthalene mothballs are also highly flammable .
Insecticides – Typically aerosol application works best if coverage is adequate. Treat once a month for the first three months and then once a quarter for the next year to ensure the infestation is under control.
Permethrin – A particular synthetic pyrethroid available as aerosol spray. Disadvantages: very toxic to cats and fish . As Tineola bisselliella is the major worldwide pest for woollen products, permethrin-based agents have been commercialised for the protection of wool from this and other keratinophagous species.
Pyrethroids or pyrethrins (e.g. Cy-Kick , Deltamethrin , and d-Phenothrin which is used in 'Raid' fly spray) – Synthetic or natural pyrethrins available as aerosol spray or as dusts. Disadvantages: some are persistent in the ecosystem and toxic to fish, possibly resistance .
Biological measures
Camphor – Possibly safer and more "natural" alternative to mothballs, but may require high vapor concentrations
The common clothes moth is such a widespread and frequently seen species.

   Cluster Flies 

The cluster flies are the genus Pollenia in the blowfly family Calliphoridae. Unlike more familiar blow flies, such as the bluebottle genus Phormia , they do not present a health hazard because they do not lay eggs in human food. They are strictly parasitic on earthworms ; the females lay their eggs near earthworm burrows, and the larvae then infest the worms. However, the flies are a nuisance; when the adults emerge in the late summer or autumn, they enter houses to hibernate , often in large numbers; they are difficult to eradicate because they favour inaccessible spaces such as roof and wall cavities. They are often seen on windows of little-used rooms. They are also sometimes known as attic flies .  

The typical cluster fly Pollenia rudis is about 7 mm long and can be recognised by distinct lines or stripes behind the head, short golden-coloured hairs on the thorax , and irregular light and dark gray areas on the abdomen . Cluster flies are typically slow-moving.

Cluster flies have a widespread distribution. Eight species are found in Britain and 31 in Europe . Pollenia species are also numerous in Australia and New Zealand (over 30 species); they are a common pest in North America . P. rudis has spread widely in association with humans

A fly


The life of an ant starts from an egg . If the egg is fertilised, the progeny will be female diploid ; if not, it will be male haploid . Ants develop by complete metamorphosis with the larva stages passing through a pupal stage before emerging as an adult. The larva is largely immobile and is fed and cared for by workers. Food is given to the larvae by trophallaxis , a process in which an ant regurgitates liquid food held in its crop . This is also how adults share food, stored in the "social stomach". Larvae, especially in the later stages, may also be provided solid food, such as trophic eggs , pieces of prey, and seeds brought by workers.

The larvae grow through a series of four or five moults and enter the pupal stage. The pupa has the appendages free and not fused to the body as in a butterfly pupa . [ 53 ] The differentiation into queens and workers (which are both female), and different castes of workers, is influenced in some species by the nutrition the larvae obtain. Genetic influences and the control of gene expression by the developmental environment are complex and the determination of caste continues to be a subject of research. [ 54 ] Winged male ants, called drones, emerge from pupae along with the usually winged breeding females. Some species, such as army ants , have wingless queens. Larvae and pupae need to be kept at fairly constant temperatures to ensure proper development, and so often, are moved around among the various brood chambers within the colony. [ 55 ]

A new worker spends the first few days of its adult life caring for the queen and young. She then graduates to digging and other nest work, and later to defending the nest and foraging. These changes are sometimes fairly sudden, and define what are called temporal castes. An explanation for the sequence is suggested by the high casualties involved in foraging, making it an acceptable risk only for ants who are older and are likely to die soon of natural causes. [ 56 ] [ 57 ]

Ant colonies can be long-lived. The queens can live for up to 30 years, and workers live from 1 to 3 years. Males, however, are more transitory, being quite short-lived and surviving for only a few weeks. [ 58 ] Ant queens are estimated to live 100 times as long as solitary insects of a similar size. [ 59 ]

Ants are active all year long in the tropics, but, in cooler regions, they survive the winter in a state of dormancy or inactivity. The forms of inactivity are varied and some temperate species have larvae going into the inactive state, ( diapause ), while in others, the adults alone pass the winter in a state of reduced activity.

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