Moths and carpet beetles are among the very few insects, fungi and microorganisms that can eat keratin. In fact, keratin is a protein found in feathers, hair, fur, horns, antlers, hooves, nails and beaks.
However, moths prefer to feed on items tainted with natural materials such as spilled food, body fluids, fungal spores or pollen.
Additionally, adult moths like dark spaces in closets and attics. Adults live long enough to mate and lay eggs. Then the moth glues the egg to food sources.
Development from egg to adult usually takes two to three months, however it can take years in certain conditions. They thrive in high humidity.
Control methods are the same for moths and carpet beetles: identify the pest, locate infested items, discard or treat infested items.
Often the damage done by these pests is our first sign of their presence. Because they often go unnoticed until large numbers are present and damage is plain.
Traps can be used to alert residents to new infestations. Moreover, traps help in pinpointing sources of infestation, and monitors pest activity.
In the same way, pheromone traps use chemical scents to attract. Furthermore, once attracted pests landing become stuck on the adhesive surface.
Notably, do not confuse pheromone traps with other pest monitors (sticky traps) that don't contain pheromones and not likely to catch moths.
Once you identified a food source, all is to be thrown away. If saving the infested item, the item needs cleaning or treatment.
Above all, dry clean infested clothing or fabric items. Washing and drying using the dryer “hot” setting, and also ironing. Fumigation quickly kills infested items.
This method requires professional expertise and is often for expensive ticket items. As a final point, professional “foggers”, like surface spraying, will not kill pests deep inside items.