Context: Trying to exterminate a clothes moth infestation.

Supposing you have a room with clothes moths, or rather, with clothes moth eggs and larvae.

Suppose then, that you remove all of the soft furnishings, all of the clothes, all of the carpet, and you thoroughly clean and vaccuum to remove as much dust and hair as possible.

Would one predict that the remaining larvae would then immediately pupate into moths, in response to this food deprivation?

I know that lots of plants will suddenly flower or fruit if they perceive that they are at risk of dying, in order to reproduce before they die. I believe the moths are essentially just a reproductive phase of the moth, so I'd be unsurprised if they did pupate.

On the other hand, I imagine pupation takes a lot of energy and food reserves (not to mention needing material for the cocoon), so I can imagine that they might be unable to do this?

Which way do it go?

Will moth larvae pupate in response to food deprivation

  • $\begingroup$ Specific reason for the question is that, a week after we pulled up the carpets, we've started seeing more and more moths in those rooms. Trying to work out if this is "expected" or not :( $\endgroup$
    – Brondahl
    Apr 12, 2020 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


Not officially an expert, but I have been watching clothes moths for years and haven't noticed any small ones, so dont expect early pupation. I would expect small pupae to give small moths (like with houseflies). I do see the hormone traps reduce population, but only with lots of them (2 per small room).


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