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Can Moths Bite?

Today, we’re going to open up the floor to Sylvia from Pennsylvania, who posed the following question:

Dear Moth Guy,

My apartment is filled with moths. Before I go to bed, sometimes I see them flying around in my room. Do they bite? It safe to sleep in there?

Please help!


Sylvia, I’m glad you asked this question. That’s an emphatic “NO!” Any flying clothes moth you see is an adult, and cannot bite you. What’s interesting about these creatures is the unique mandibular structure they possess, which is tied to their life cycle and diet.

The common clothes moth does not have mandibles like ordinary insects. Amazingly, all of the nutrients moths eat are gathered in the larva and nymph stage as they are growing into adults. By the time the moth reaches adulthood, they have only one thing on their minds: mating. Adult moths are the fraternity members of the insect world.

Luckily for us, the larvae’s mandibles are too small to puncture human skin. So even if you put a sweater on that has crawling larvae inside, they still can’t bite you.

I hope this clarifies your understanding of clothes moths.

– The Moth Guy

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