Even if you keep pheromone traps posted everywhere to watch for clothes moths, your clothes could still be damaged by another type of pest that sneaks in under the radar. Here are five types of non-moth critters that might try to consume your belongings.
1. Varied carpet beetle
Carpet beetle infestations are more common in America than you'd expect, but their presence often goes unnoticed for the simple reason that they often don't do much damage. It's only a severe infestation that's likely to catch your attention. The beetles are also tiny (the varied beetle is only 1/8 inch or less). The varied carpet beetle is mottled brown in color.
2. Black carpet beetle
The black carpet beetle, besides being black, is pretty similar to the varied carpet beetle. Like wool moths, carpet beetles damage your clothing and other natural fibers by laying eggs that hatch into voracious larvae. The adults themselves don't eat these items, but instead eat pollen and nectar.
3. Common carpet beetle
Also known as the buffalo carpet beetle, this variety is a mottled black and reddish color and, like the other varieties, very tiny. It's called "common" because it was so common in Europe. Of course, global commerce has now distributed it pretty much everywhere, and it's great at surviving indoors even in other parts of the world.
Silverfish, which you may have seen slinking around in your kitchen or garage at one point or another, don't actually eat fabric because they like it. Rather, they like food (such as the food spills they might find on dirty laundry and the starch they might find on clean laundry) and they have no compunction about eating through the fabric that they find it on. Firebrats are a silverfish lookalike with similar clothes-chewing habits.
Like silverfish, cockroaches don't care so much for the clothes as for the food stains and sweat stains they sometimes find there. Fortunately (or not so fortunately depending on how you look at it), cockroaches are more likely to set up shop in your kitchen than to start out by rampaging through your closet.
As all of these pests prefer to operate in privacy, they can be difficult to catch in the act especially if you only have a small infestation. Keeping your valuable clothes and natural fibers safely wrapped in airtight plastic can help prevent this, and if you like, you can also buy pheromone traps for each of the creepy crawlies listed above. For more information, contact your local pest control service.