Sticky moths - Control in practice

Clothes moth trapsflour moth traps and moth bags is recommended for the prevention and control of sticky moths:

Facts about sticky moths

Occurrence: Although sticky moths used to be a major problem in Danish homes and businesses, they are now rare.

Food: Sticky moths are almost omnivorous. They can feed on materials that other moths don't eat, such as straw in standing roofs, fungal growth on trees, etc. It should be mentioned that it is the larvae of the sticky moths that eat all these materials and are therefore the real pests.

Combat: Controlling the sticky moth is about two things; 1) removing existing larvae and eggs by cleaning, and 2) preventing future infestations by using moth repellents and storing textiles and food properly.


Sticky moth control

Control of sticky moths should be done as follows:

  • Cleaning & Maintenance: Thorough vacuuming and dry cleaning (do not use water!) of all carpets, cupboards and drawers in your home. This applies to both places where clothes are stored and places where food is stored (e.g. clothes cupboards, kitchen cabinets, etc.).
  • Textiles: Hanging or discarded textiles should be shaken or tapped and checked for moths regularly. Textiles should also be stored in tightly sealed plastic bags.
  • Food & Beverage: All food should be stored in airtight containers.
  • Moth repellents: Use moth bags and moth traps (not chemical!) in cupboards and drawers where textiles are stored. In food storage areas, you should not use chemical moth repellents of any kind. You can also spray clothes and other textiles with moth repellents. We recommend the following clothes moth trapsflour moth traps and moth bags for the prevention and control of sticky moths:

Remember, never use water when cleaning places where moths tend to breed. As an alternative, we recommend wetting a cloth with ordinary vinegar and wiping with it (after vacuuming).


Food for the sticky moths

Most moth species feed on a relatively well-defined food group, but sticky moths are almost omnivorous, feeding on both organic and plant materials.

In the past, glue moth larvae could thrive in old wallpaper, feeding on the flour paste that adhered the wallpaper to the walls. However, this phenomenon is rare today, as other adhesives are used.

When sticky moths are seen in homes today, they often originate from a bird's nest close to the home. Sticky moths generally thrive in bird nests, where they feed on feathers, down, food scraps and other bird droppings.

Sticky moth food includes:

  • Wool
  • Feather
  • Dun
  • Furs
  • Silk
  • Hair
  • Skins
  • Leather
  • Carpets
  • Furniture upholstery
  • Textiles
  • Dry plant waste
  • Animal advice
  • Dead insects
  • Rotten wood
  • Fungi on trees
  • Thatched roofs
  • Pet food
  • Leftover feed
  • Food marc
  • Moldy food
  • Cork stoppers in wine bottles
  • Dried fruit
  • Grain
  • Klid
  • Grits
  • Mel
  • Core
  • Seeds
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Corn

It's worth mentioning that sticky moths rarely attack textiles, but you should still always check all your home textiles if you notice moths.


Description of the glue moth

Sticky moths are easy to recognize by their white 'shoulders' and heads

In adult sticky moths, the shoulders (i.e. the upper part of the wings) are white, as are their heads. The rest of the wings are light brown or gray-brown with dark spots.

The glue moth is also known as the White-shouldered house mothwhich is derived from the English term White-shouldered House Mothboth of which describe the appearance of the mill very well.

Adult sticky moths are 6 - 11 mm in length and have a wingspan of 15 - 21 mm. Male moths are smaller than female moths. Like other food moths, sticky moths are attracted to light.

Sticky moth caterpillars are cream-colored with dark heads and grow up to 12 mm long. In general, sticky moth caterpillars are very similar to frog moth caterpillars.


Life cycle

Below is the life cycle of the sticky moth:

  • Egg stage: The female moth lays her eggs in cracks, crevices and holes - usually in warm and humid places. She lays around 200 eggs. It takes 6 - 58 days from when a sticky moth lays its eggs until they hatch. The hatching time depends on temperature and humidity, with 25 degrees being the optimal temperature (with the lowest hatching time).
  • Larval stage: Once the larvae hatch, they start feeding on the nearest food source. After At 5 - 19 months, the larvae become fully grown and migrate to find a place to pupate.
  • Puppet stageLarvae spin a pupa in which they can complete their development. Their pupae are often found near food, on walls or in textiles. After about 5 weeks, the adult sticky moths emerge from their pupae.
  • Adult stageThe adult sticky moths mate immediately after emerging from their cocoons. The females then lay their eggs, starting a new generation and continuing the life cycle. The adult moths live for 2-3 weeks.

The full development period of the sticky moth (i.e. from egg stage to adult stage) lasts 2 - 9 months. The life cycle can last 8 - 12 months. Up to 4 generations can occur per year.

Read more about the moth life cycle here.


History of the company

Sticky moths (Endrosis sarcitrella) have been associated with humans since prehistoric times, but are also capable of living independently in nature. For example, they are often found in bird nests and various insect nests.

Today, sticky moths are rare in Danish homes, but in the past they were a big problem because they could feed on the flour paste in the wallpaper on the walls and because homes were generally more humid.