Editor's note: In its recent Fumigants & Pheromones enewsletter, Insects Limited included its annual list of the Top 15 Clothes Moth Cities in the U.S.
For 2019, the top four cities for clothes moth remain unchanged; New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Minneapolis inched up two spots to grab the final spot in the top five. The state of Texas made big leaps this year as Dallas moved up considerably, and Houston joined the list while Atlanta dropped off.
Eastern Seaboard. The Eastern Seaboard again owns the top three spots on this list with NYC, Boston and Philadelphia highlighting those spots.
Other cities. Los Angeles remained steady at the No. 4 spot. Denver tied with Dallas by moving up four spots from 13th to 9th. Washington DC was the biggest mover overall on the list, dropping from the 5th spot to the 12th. Chicago moved up from 8th to 6th.
Texas. Moth populations in Texas look like they are on the rise with Dallas moving from 11th to 7th on the list and Houston coming out of nowhere and moving right into the 11th spot.
Webbing clothes moth, Tineola bisselliella, appear to continue to be on a rapid rise in many metropolitan areas. Research has suggested that the webbing clothes moth does not come into our homes and businesses from natural reservoirs (E.g. bird nests, dead animals) but instead travels from person to person1.
This type of behavior is called synanthropic, which means the clothes moths benefit from an association with humans and the habitats that humans create. As we pass along our wool rugs, blankets, sweaters, fur coats and feather pillows, etc. to family members, friends or other means of trade, we also move the moths from location to location. The densely populated northern portion of the Eastern Seaboard (Maine to Washington DC) again accounted for over 70% of the clothes moth sales for the entire country. As people move about the country, they carry the clothes moths with them, so even if your city isn’t on this list now, be prepared because they still might be coming your way soon!