Moths and butterflies are closely related. They go through the same life cycles and often feed on the same things. Some moths are real beauties that can rival any butterfly. Moths have thicker bodies than butterflies and their antennae are straight. They usually fly around at night, although some, like the female cankerworm, don't have wings at all.
How to Avoid Getting Into a Flutter About Moths
Moths get a bum rap. Most are harmless. Some are quite pretty. But it only takes a few species to ruin it for the rest of them. The caterpillars of these "bad apples" can eat your clothes and contaminate your food. Others, like Gypsy Moths, can destroy your trees in the caterpillar stage.
Adjust your housekeeping
If you see moths flying around your house, you likely have pantry or flour moths. You can control these moths by vacuuming the inside of your cupboards and washing them with soap and water. Remove any infested food, and store your food in air-tight containers, like glass or hard plastic. Clothes moths, on the other hand, prefer dark spots like your basement, attic or closet, and you're less likely to see them flying around. The caterpillars do all the damage. They prefer to eat natural fabrics, like wool, silk, felt, and fur. They can ruin sweaters, coats, comforters, pillows, and even carpets. To remove the caterpillars, shake and brush the fabrics outside in a sunny spot. You can kill their eggs by dry-cleaning your fabrics. Help keep moths out by keeping doors closed and repairing holes in window screens. You can also apply Ortho® Home Defense MAX® Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter¹ around windows, door casings, and baseboards to help control moths in the house.
Attack the caterpillars
Moth caterpillars can be very destructive in the yard. One or two caterpillars aren't usually a problem, but if you see an infestation on your ornamental shrubs or small trees, apply a systemic control, like Ortho® Flower, Fruit & Vegetable Insect Killer. For large trees, your best bet may be to call an arborist.