What Do Baby Moths Look Like? (Identify Moth Larvae)

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A moth infestation can do plenty of damage to both your home and garden if not dealt with quickly.

This is especially true when you’re dealing with clothes moths (family Tineidae), most notably the webbing cloths moth (Tineola bisselliella) and the casemaking clothes moth (Tinea pellionella).

But what do baby moths look like, and why is it so darned hard to find them sometimes?

Related: What Are Bagworms and How Do You Eliminate Them?

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What Do Baby Moths Look Like?

When you see a baby spider, there’s no mistaking what it is.

Insects are very different, with nymphs often resembling the adults in some way, but most species having larvae.

In the case of moths, the larvae can take on a wide range of appearances.

Some are smooth-skinned, some are hairy, some are a single dull color, and some are brightly colored.

One thing to keep in mind is that moths have four life stages.

Beginning as eggs, the larvae emerge and begin feeding. Some create a protective silk casing while others crawl along plants, feeding on the leaves.

Once they’re ready to molt, they’ll create a cocoon in which they undergo a final transformation, growing wings and other features typical of an adult moth.

Below is a video featuring the Indian meal moth, showing each life stage.

See Also: How to Get Rid of Tiny Black Bugs in the Kitchen

Baby Moth Pictures


baby moth picture
tiger moth caterpillar
cabbage moth larvae
cabbage moth caterpillars
image of baby moth
baby goat moth

The Many Names for Baby Moths

Both butterfly and moth larvae are mainly known as caterpillars.

But depending on the species of moth, the caterpillars have very different common names from the adult moth.

For example, grain moth larvae are known as waxworms.

Inchworms are really the caterpillars of geometer moths.

Some bookworms are also baby moths.

Common clothes moth larvae are sometimes referred to as bed worms.

Indian meal moth larvae (and those of many other pantry moths) can be mistaken for maggots.

And finally, a few flour moth larvae like the Mediterranean flour moth can be mistaken for silkworms (which are the actual names of true silk moths of the genus Bombyx).

See Also: How to Get Rid of Mothball Odor

How to Get Rid of Moths in Your House

The two most common types of moths found in homes are clothes moths and pantry moths.

In order to get rid of them, you can follow the below-mentioned steps.

Eliminate Food

The first thing that you have to do is eliminate their food source.

It would help determine which food item is attracting the moths and then block access.

For example, clothes moth larvae love to chew on fabrics, so be sure to keep stored clothing in airtight containers.

Try to avoid using mothballs, which have a sickly sweet smell that’s actually toxic.

Essential oils can play a huge role in repelling clothes moths, discouraging them from laying eggs near the source of the smell.

Pantry moths are a little easier to deal with, though.

Make sure unused pet food is kept in a sealed container and try to store all dry food and packaged goods in sealable metal or plastic containers.

Be warned that some pantry moth larvae may already infest some packaged foods when you bring them home.

This is how weevils and other pantry pests get a foothold in an otherwise clean home.

Keep Your Home Clean

Speaking of a clean home, it’s harder for moths to hang around in a tidy home.

Most clothes moth infestations happen because of dirty linens and clothing left laying around.

By washing those clothes, you’ll be killing any eggs and larvae present.

This is also a good way to suck up any adults you find.


Whether you prefer a pheromone trap or the classic sticky trap, there’s no denying moths are very good at flying to their own doom.

While they won’t kill every moth in your home, they’ll get most of them over time.

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How to Get Rid of Baby Moths in Your Garden

Caterpillars can decimate an ornamental or vegetable garden if you aren’t careful.

Here are some easy ways to eliminate them.

Complimentary Gardening

Also known s companion planting, this is an old trick where you plant a variety of flowers or crops that protect or benefit each other.

Some great options include alliums, mint (especially eucalyptus or peppermint), basil, citronella, and lemongrass.

But there are literally dozens of plants that will repel caterpillars and other unwanted critters.

Sacrificial Planting

This is the opposite end of the gardening spectrum.

In this case, you pick plants the baby moths absolutely love and plant them in a corner or your garden or further away.

The adult moths will lay their eggs on these plants first, which you can then treat or destroy, protecting the rest of your garden.

Lights Out

Avoid leaving outdoor lights on when you aren’t using them.

These can attract a whole host of bugs, including gypsy moths and other fliers – as well as spiders and other hunters.

Also, make sure you never leave windows open that don’t have a screen, especially when the lights are on.

This is just an open invitation for moths to come indoors.

Hire Help

We’re not just talking about hiring a pest control company here.

Instead, think about attracting ladybugs, birds, and parasitic wasps to our garden.

These critters will happily hunt the caterpillars, either as food for themselves or their own larvae.

Best of all, they’ll continue offering free services for as long as there’s food.

Nature really does provide some of the best (and cheapest) pest control professionals!

Want to Let the Pros Handle It?
Get a free quote from top pest control companies in your area.