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How to Get Rid of Clothes Moths

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Whats munching on my best Dress

To kill the enemy you need to know your enemy!! There is a common misconception that the flying moths are the ones chomping on your favourite garments, well this is not the case. Like all insects they go through stages of metamorphosis. The moth goes through complete metamorphosis meaning they start as an egg, turn into a larvae (maggot like), then pupae (solid maggot) and then an adult moth. In simple terms, imagine the caterpillar to a butterfly, it’s the same process. The adult moth causes no harm whatsoever to your clothing, however the larvae stage is doing all the damage!

Carpet - pesticide habitat such as moths
Clothes Moths in trap

What do they like to eat?

Clothes moth larvae will only feed on natural fibres such as wool and silk. Any materials that are non natural such as polyester they will not feast on.

Where are they?

Clothes moths unlike other moths are not big lovers of light. They prefer dark, undisturbed and warm places. If your carpets are made of natural fabric then you need to check under the beds and furniture. Rugs underneath tables that never get trodden on, or the old rugs in the loft are favourites also. Think of the clothing in your wardrobe, especially paying attention to silk linings of handbags that haven’t been touched in ages or old shoes and boots with wool linings. If something is not getting used or washed regularly then that’s a good place to start. And don’t put used clothes back in the cupboards. Moths love to feast on human sweat and food particles.

Clothes Moths

Treat your clothes now!

If you are noticing your favourite Christmas jumper is becoming a little moth eaten then action needs to be taken. Wash or dry clean all of your clothes (and curtains and upholstery, too). Freeze anything you can fit on your freezer shelves; sub-zero temperatures kill larvae, although make sure you put clothes in plastic bags prior to freezing to avoid a condensation build-up. Keep them in there for 48 hours. Wash clothing at 60’C and above. Visit our self help page for far more detailed information on what to do in treating clothing. Once you have treated your clothes DO NOT put them back in any rooms where the carpets and rugs have not been treated.

What about the rugs and carpets?

DIY insecticides can be brought from shops or online to treat the areas. Ensure the affected carpets are thoroughly treated and rugs must be treated both size! We would always recommend calling a fully insured specialist pest control company like PestGone to fumigate the entire property and take the stress and back breaking away from yourselves.

Vet your vintage

Vintage clothes should always be dry cleaned before being introduced to your wardrobe, as they are often the source of infestations.

Be vigilant

Keep checking your clothes for moth holes, keep rooms well-ventilated as temperatures start to rise, and keep a natural oil diffuser in your wardrobe at all times – it smells great and wards off moths. Moth pheromone ‘monitors’ are also a good precautionary measure; keep them hanging on your rail at all times but these will only attract the male adult moths.

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