Moths are generally gray or brown, with wings that are usually patterned. The average moth is about 1/2 inch in size with a wingspan of up to 6 inches. Some species of moths are much larger, with wingspans of up to 12 inches. Moths can be distinguished from butterflies by their antennas (moth antennae are usually feathered while butterfly antennae are not).
Moths lay eggs which hatch into caterpillars. Moths have 4 stages of development called instars. The first stage of development is the egg, followed by an immature stage called a caterpillar or larva. Once the caterpillar has finished growing it goes through a resting phase called pupation and finally emerges as an adult moth.
Moths use a variety of behaviors to keep from being eaten. Nocturnal moths are active at night and rest during the day, while diurnal moths are active during the day and rest at night. The behavior of moths can also be affected by changes in weather which causes some species to change their activity patterns.
Moths are not like other insects. They do not have chewing mouthparts so they do not eat during the adult stage of their lives. Instead, moths live off of the food that they ate when they were caterpillars. After mating, female moths lay eggs and then die. The male moths do not eat at all during the adult stage of their lives because they don’t have a digestive system.
Moths are found almost everywhere in the world. Moths are usually not a problem inside homes unless they have been drawn indoors by large populations of moths that live outside. Some species of moths can become nuisances when their numbers get so high that they enter buildings in search of shelter from the weather.
Moths commonly live in forests or wooded areas where they can find the plants on which their larvae feed. Moth larvae are called armyworms, cutworms, loopers or inchworms and can defoliate trees and other plants when their populations get out of control.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A MOTH
Moths are not as easy to identify as butterflies because they do not go through a metamorphosis stage. The adult moths and caterpillars look similar, so you have to be careful when distinguishing them. You can tell the difference between a moth and butterfly by looking at the antennae (moth antennae are usually feathered while butterfly antennae are not), wings, and body. Moths tend to hold their wings flat over their bodies while butterflies maintain a “stretched” position in which their wings are held away from the body.
If you find any Moths in your Charlotte County home, contact Bug Off Pest Charlotte immediately. We can help rid you of these garden pests and get your lawn or yard back to normal! As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about Moths or any other pest. Call us today 941-676-2005