Tips for a Moth FREE Home

Posted on September 15, 2016 in Pest

Our Tips for a Moth FREE Home

A few moth species can unfortunately cause a lot of unsightly damage to clothes, carpets and other materials in your home or business. Taking immediate action as soon as you see the tell-tale signs of moths is vital.

The first thing most people notice is the damage caused to clothes, fabrics or carpets but there are other indicators of a moth infestation:

  • Small maggot like larvae (moth caterpillars).
  • Silken tubes or cases in which the moth larvae live.
  • Pupae (silk cocoons) from which larvae emerge as moths.
  • Adult moths often crawling rather than flying.

Moths don’t actually eat fabric, their main purpose is to reproduce, it’s their larvae that do all the damage.

In the UK there are 4 species of moth found in homes that can cause problems and these moths have differing preferences for materials, which means their larvae cause slightly different damage to fabrics and materials, for example:

  • Common clothes moth larvae cause irregular shaped holes in fabrics.
  • Case bearing clothes moth larvae create smaller, more regular shaped holes in garments.
  • Brown house moth larvae tend to prefer animal based materials like feathers and leather.
  • White shouldered house moth larvae scavenge on a wide range of food, so are a little less damaging to textiles.

Here are the experts’ top tips for a moth free home …

Turn off the heat

Turn off radiators as soon as possible and open all the windows regularly to allow air to circulate.

Beware bargains

Our national love of an eBay or charity shop bargain could be contributing to the problem, as old furniture, clothes and upholstery can contain moths, or their larvae — recognisable as inch-long, silvery threads.

Keep all second-hand fabrics in sealed plastic bags until they’ve been thoroughly washed or dry-cleaned.

Shake them off

The moth life cycle is around three weeks, so if you shake out your clothing in the daylight once or twice a month, you’ll disturb them and dislodge their larvae.

Don’t ignore upholstery and furnishings either — rugs and cushions can harbour eggs, so if you suspect a moth invasion, give them a good beating and hang them on the washing line in the sun.

Deep clean

A powerful vacuum can shift eggs from fibres, but you’ll need to remove the collected dust or hoover bags from the house immediately, or, having hatched inside the machine and merrily feasted on the dust, they’ll simply fly out again. Change vacuum bags often if you want a moth free home.

It’s vital to vacuum regularly under beds, carpets and behind radiators too, to prevent moths settling in.

Boil wash

The biggest draw for a hungry moth is stained clothing. Sweat, dried-in food particles and oil from make-up or hair products are like a delicious buffet for moths, so if you’re tempted to skimp on dry cleaning, you’re asking for trouble.

It’s vital to clean your clothes thoroughly before storing them. And when you wash items yourself, make sure the water is above 48 degrees centigrade — and the wash programme lasts for at least half an hour — to be certain that every stage of the insect’s life cycle has been killed off as this will help keep a moth free home.

Seal and store

Once clean, the simplest moth-proof way to store clothes such as coats and suits is in sealed plastic storage bags.

When it comes to caring for very pricey items, such as cashmere and pure silk, wrap your washed cashmere in acid-free tissue or put it in breathable bags.

You can also try freezing garments that can’t be washed. Wrap them in plastic and freeze them for at least 12 hours, to kill off the eggs and larvae.

Mothball to the max

The obvious solution, popular with the Victorians and famed for their eye-wateringly unpleasant smell, they contain the moth-repelling chemicals naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene and release other noxious vapours which slowly kill insects.

But unless the area is sealed, the fumes can be too weak to kill sturdy adult moths, and will also make everything you wear smell like an elderly great-aunt. The scent is almost impossible to remove, too, and the balls are poisonous.

Go natural

Cedar balls are an increasingly popular natural deterrent. On the downside, although small eggs and larvae will die off, adult moths can become immune to the smell — plus the cedar’s properties fade after a few months.

If all else fails . . .

Call in the experts. Protech Pest Solutions will fumigate your house. Call 0845 604 1288 for a free site survey and quotation.