Although an adult moth has a short average life span, it can be a nuisance as the moth caterpillars cause significant damage to fabrics stored in attics, basements, and closets.
A single female moth can lay over 300 eggs in a single lifetime, and the moth life cycle times are short.
The environment and the moth species mainly determine the length of a moth’s life cycle. Warm, gloomy rooms with a relative humidity of 75% are suitable for developing some species.
It’s also critical to have the moth’s favorite food supply nearby. Webbing clothing moths have a life cycle that lasts 65 to 90 days. Some moth species can live for up to 30 days, while others can take three months to develop.
Are you dealing with a moth infestation? If that’s the case, you’ll need to understand their life cycle so you can target them at the right time. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Clothes Moth and Carpet Moth life cycles.
Despite their small size and innocent look, carpet and clothing moths may cause havoc in your home. The larvae of the adult winged moths, not the adults, are the rice-sized gods of textile devastation. The larvae will not only eat holes in your expensive wool garments or antique carpets, but they will also leave an unattractive mess behind. (Read about Tomato Worm Moth)
However, not all are the same. Here, in our guide, you can learn what is the lifespan of a moth? By the end, once you know how long do moths live, you can determine the best course of action to stop moths and other insects from making the most of your closet and causing damage.
How Long Do House Moths Live For?
Moths are common insects with a diverse range of species. They are rarely spotted during the day, but they are drawn to light at night. Their sole purpose is to find mates and lay eggs wherever there is sufficient food. Some species of adult moths live only for a week.
Others can survive for up to ten months or a year. Male moths die quickly after mating, while female moths die after laying their fertilized eggs.
The gypsy moth, for example, goes through a complete metamorphosis, from egg to larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult.
Gypsy moth eggs hatch between late April and mid-May on average. The larval stage, often known as the caterpillar stage, usually lasts about seven weeks. During the months of May and June, the larvae are most active. Individual larvae develop into pupae in late June and early July, and they stay in this stage for one to two weeks. Adults emerge from late June until the middle of July, and they can stay until August.
Because each moth species lays its eggs differently, determining how long moth eggs last or how long moths live can be challenging.
Moth eggs are typically placed in clusters of 50 or more and develop into larvae fast. Caterpillars are the larvae of moths that are legless and have a soft body. In a single day, a caterpillar can consume up to half of its body weight.
The most prevalent pest of textiles in the house is the clothes moth. After mating, a female moth will place her eggs on fabric that she deems suitable for her children to devour.
After hatching, young moths will gnaw at the cloth for a while. However, they eventually reach a point where they cannot eat; they have lost their capacity to gnaw through the cloth. They will not die of hunger but rather of dehydration if not kept in a humid environment.
A moth’s lifespan might be anywhere from a few days to several months. Another example is the silk moth (Bombyx mori). This domesticated North American moth could survive for up to nine months in captivity, but Indian meal moths (Plodia interpunctella) can live in optimal conditions for 400 days.
Moving on, certain moths live for such an extended period that they are considered pests. Pantry moths (Pyralidae) are agricultural pests that devour flour and grains. They are also known as meal moths.
One other thing that can affect a moth lifespan is the amount of light they face. While you see them at night, it is the light from bulbs they crave.
Moths regulate their body temperature through their wings. If you discover a moth in your home, you may observe that it is not active. This is because it is conserving energy by using its wings to keep “warm.” It’s possible that if you put a moth in the dark, it won’t move at all. However, if you provide it with some light, it will move around, warm up again, and extend its life expectancy.
Do Moths Only Live For A Day?
Adult moths live for a short time, ranging from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the species, while hibernating moths can live for months. Many moths, like butterflies, feed on nectar, although certain species of short-lived moths do not. (Learn How To Get Rid Of Moths In Closet)
Moths are found throughout the world, and most of them dwell in temperate or tropical regions. While no specific figures are known, most sources agree that moths in the wild have a lifespan of between 5 and 12 months. If you keep them away from cold temperatures, the moths you notice around your house may live for a year.
Webbing clothes moths have a life cycle that lasts 65 to 90 days. Some moth species have been known to live for up to 30 days.
Moths die in the same way as other insect and animal species do. They go hungry when they don’t have enough food. They die when they get sick, and they die when their bodies age because of natural causes.
You might wonder the difference between moths and butterflies since moths hide during the day and emerge at night, where moths stay around the porch light.
- Moths and butterflies make up two-winged insects from the Lepidoptera taxonomic order, and moths are among the most well-known members.
- Moths and butterflies belong to the insect family, including hexapods with six legs, three body sections, and an exoskeleton.
- Moths, like butterflies, are insects belonging to the Lepidoptera order. Their adult versions have massive, often brightly colored wings, making them a nuisance to humans.
- Moths are not butterflies, and they are so unlike that they are frequently classified into other taxonomic groups. Moths are insects that go through many phases of development. Its life cycle is one of the most complicated of any insect.
Brown house moths, like other moths, go through four stages of complete metamorphosis in their life span: egg stage, larva, pupa stage, and adult.
What Is The Longest Living Moth?
Because G. Groenlandica is subjected to among of the world’s longest and most harsh winters, it goes through an annual period of diapause that lasts for much of the calendar year.
One morning, you might see a small gray moth flitting around the kitchen or tiny caterpillars wriggling around in a bag of flour. Look closely, as it can mean you have pantry moths.
One moth can lay up to 400 eggs in a single mating cycle. Understanding the life cycle of these insect pests will help you eradicate them before they multiply, whether you call them pantry, Indian meal, flour, miller, or kitchen moths.
Here you can find the moth life cycle most moths go through during their life.
Individual pantry moth eggs are only.0005 inches in diameter, making them difficult to perceive with the human eye. Eggs come in two colors: white and gray. During the night, females deposit clusters of 100 to 400 eggs in regions where the newly emerging larvae may easily find food. In warm weather, eggs hatch in four to eight days, with larvae hatching quickly.
The moth larvae hatch from the eggs and immediately begin looking for food in their environment. Newly hatched larvae have reddish-brown heads and are segmented white. The caterpillar eats anything they can find based on species. As they feed and produce trash, one newly hatched batch of eggs can quickly spoil a bag of flour or box of cereal.
Clothes moths will lay eggs in areas where fabrics are available. The clothes moths hatch to the moth larva and feed on the fibers of organic materials such as wool.
Larval moths consume clothing, rugs, and other materials in homes. When they outgrow their exoskeleton, they shed it and replace it with a new one.
After one to two weeks of eating, the moth larvae squirm out of the containers, looking for a dark corner to relax and prepare for their transformation into moths.
They spin silky webs in the cracks between the pupal stage where two sides of a cabinet or a space inside clothing in a closet meet. (Learn How To Get Rid Of Cabbage Worms Naturally)
Here, they spin a cocoon and rest, ready to mature into adults. If ion your pantry, you often find these inside boxes or containers you open. Before adulthood, this stage of the moth life cycle lasts around two weeks.
They have unique cells where the cells break down the body into a sludge that progressively reforms itself. This is referred to as histolysis. Because the rate of histolysis is affected by the environment, moths in warmer areas hatch and grow significantly faster to the next stage than those in cooler climates.
The adult pantry moth emerges from its cocoon at the end of the pupal stage, and from then, they have one purpose: to find a mate and make more moths.
Depending on the nutrients they eat throughout their life cycle, the newly emerged adults may be colored red or green. Adult pantry moths use chemical signals called pheromones to attract mates. When they mature into adult moths, they cannot ingest food, resulting in their mortality in a matter of days or weeks, depending on the moth species.
After mating, the female lays her eggs near or in a food source for the next generation, completing the life cycle before dying of old age. In one year, a residence might have over two generations of pantry moths.
How Long Does It Take For Moths To Go Away?
When looking at how long do moths live for, you need to include the overall moth life span, which comprises time spent in the larval and pupal stages, and time spent as an adult moth.
Their longevity is determined by the number of flights they will take. A new generation of grownups has taken to the skies. If a species has “two flights from May to September,” it means one generation will emerge from the pupal stage in the spring and another in the summer.
The emergence of the moth is usually determined by latitude. The entire lifespan of these two generations will fluctuate significantly based on the winter approach they choose.
A good example is the Monarch butterfly. Monarch butterflies have an average lifespan of up to 9 months under favorable conditions in South America yet have a shorter lifespan. The moth lives around 6-weeks in other places that do not provide their optimal living conditions.
So, if the spring flight were born from the eggs laid in the fall by last summer’s flight, the spring flight’s entire lifespan would be 10-11 months.
Because of the higher temperatures, eggs laid in May will develop significantly faster. This new flight will appear in 2-3 months, implying that their whole lifespan will be 3-4 months.
When adult moths overwinter, the spring flight will emerge from eggs produced in the spring’s warm temperatures arrive. The summer flight moths will be the ones who live the longest. Not all moth species have two annual flights.
Some other species have only one flight or live for a year. Some polar butterflies are thought to have a two-year cycle because of the challenging growing conditions and scarcity of a good food source during the larval stage.
Not all species have short life stages, as some moths emerge that can last much longer. Desert species with a year-long life cycle can hibernate in the larval or pupal stage for up to seven years while waiting for enough rain to mature the host plant. Arctic butterflies, in comparison, are said to have a 2-year total life span.