Friday, 2 October 2009


My Mum's just bought a new carpet and, aptly enough, my trap is being visited by carpet moths. They are named after their intricate patterns rather than the old and erroneous notion that they eat carpets. That's the job of carpet beetles and a very limited number of 'clothes moths', the Common and the Case-bearing in particular. As the Which? magazine guide to such matters says: "Be careful not to confuse clothes moths with other species which are harmless and should be carefully ushered out if found in the home."
These two carpets are the Common Marbled and the Red Green. The former appears in many variations, including the one with the orangey blotches as well as the standard type, pictured on the left. Quite a few of them have a habit of resting with their tails pointing up in the air for reasons unknown. The Common Marbled's caterpillars are unusually indiscriminate, feasting on pretty much anything. The Red Green's are more fastidious. They dine on rowan and oak, both of which flourish hereabouts.

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