Candle Moths

(Family: Noctuidae)

Introduction: Candle moth is a general term for moths belonging to the family Noctuidae. Worldwide in distribution, this family is the largest in the Order Lepidoptera and there are about 3,000 species found in North America. They have a wide variation in appearance and behavior. Most moths are gray to brown in color and have lines or spots on their wings, however, some species are brightly colored. They can range from small to large in size, but most species are medium-sized with wingspans 3/4” to 2 1/2”. When at rest, adults of most species hold their wings above their bodies like a roof.

Habits: Candle moths received their moniker by being strongly attracted to light and they will frequently be seen near lights on the exterior of a structure. They are typically nocturnal, though some species are diurnal. Most larvae (caterpillars) feed on plant foliage, dead leaves, grasses, lichens, and fungi. Larvae occupy many niches in the environment with some species being leaf miners, others stem- or leaf-borers, and still others will feed at night on plant shoots. Several species are of economic importance to man as they can be severe pests of forests and agriculture.

Control: All species of candle moth prefer to be outdoors, yet, they frequently enter homes by accident. To help minimize moth entry into your home reduce exterior lighting near doors, turn lights off at night in rooms that are unoccupied, and ensure that windows and doors seal tightly. Also, a residual product utilized around entryways aids greatly in reducing the number of moths entering the home. Cook’s Pest Control offers professional treatments for the control of occasional invaders and our pest management professionals are thoroughly trained to address your pest issues.

About Occasional Invaders

These pests invade your home or place of business infrequently and their intrusion is typically due to a change of weather. They usually wind up indoors while seeking shelter or just happen to wander inside through open doors.