Common and case-bearing clothes moths (Tineola bisselliella, Tinea pellionella) are both common textile pests found in the United Kingdom. The larvae or caterpillar are capable of digesting keratin, a protein found in hair, wool, horns and hooves. Textile pests are associated with birds’ nests and animal dens where they readily feed on shed hairs and feathers. The common clothes moth’s wings are covered in gold scales with no spots or markings, the head area is covered with reddish golden scales, and the antenna are darker than the rest of the body. The common clothes moth is a serious pest in museums, homes and retail outlets selling rugs and woollen carpets.
Adult moths are poor flyers and the damage caused by the larvae tends to occur under heavy furniture and in dark areas of the room. Damage can be identified to clothing and material containing keratin, including woollen carpets, tapestries, pipe lagging made from horse hair and woollen wall insulation.