Clothes Moths – Deterring Unwelcome Fibre Feasters

Clothes Moths – Deterring Unwelcome Fibre Feasters

Have you gone to your wardrobe during the cooler summer evenings to grab a jumper, only to find it peppered with holes?  Yes? Then you might be experiencing a Clothes Moth infestation.

Identification

There are many different species of moths in Britain. The two most common UK moths which pose a threat to your clothing and soft furnishings are the Common Clothes Moth (Tineola Bisselliella) and the Case-bearing Clothes Moth (Tinea Pellionella), which are around 6-7mm in length, and thought to be increasing in numbers throughout the UK.

You can identify Clothes Moths as opposed to other moth species, by paying attention to their wings, which they fold tent-wise along their backs.

Adult Common Clothes Moths have plain, pale ochreous coloured wings, whilst the less common Case-Bearing Clothes Moth is a pale silvery grey-brown colour, sporting three dark brown spots on each wing.

Clothes Moth larvae are creamy white in colour, with a brown head.

Tineola Bisselliella

Tineola Bisselliella

Why are Clothes Moths Considered Pests?

Adult Clothes Moths do not damage clothes when feeding, however Clothes Moth larvae obtain their nourishment from keratin found in natural fibres, such as feathers, fur, and hair.

They also enjoy wool and can cause irreparable damage to woollen carpets, clothing, and wool insulation which has become popular in lofts and cavity walls in recent years as an environmentally friendly insulation solution.

The Clothes Moth’s good taste in garments makes particularly expensive items, such as cashmere sweaters, silk pyjamas and lambswool jackets vulnerable to ruin.

When are Clothes Moths most Prevalent?

Historically moth season has been between May to October, however, warmer winters and central heating can result in a year-long pest problem.

Infestation Identification

Unlike the neat, precise holes made by the Carpet Beetle, Clothes Moths make irregular holes in fabrics.

Check undisturbed, dark places, e.g., wardrobes, drawers, and under rugs/carpets for Clothes Moth larvae.  You may also see adult moths in your home.

Try DIY?

Clothes Moths are notoriously difficult to manage once they have taken up residence in your home, therefore Avon Pest Control recommend contacting a professional pest control company as soon as you see signs of a moth infestation.

However, if you would like to prevent Clothes Moths from settling, here are some tips which may help:

  • Deep clean your wardrobe – Clothes Moths enjoy dark, warm, undisturbed environments; remove your clothes and wipe the inside of your wardrobe with detergent. Wash and dry your clothes, put into plastic bags then store in your freezer for 48 hours, as sub-zero temperatures kill Clothes Moth larvae
  • Wash and dry your curtains – as above, use freezer treatment
  • Do not put any worn clothes back into your wardrobe – moth larvae feed on sweat and food particles
  • Use garment bags to store natural fibre knitwear – line with cedarwood chips or anti moth paper
  • Be vintage wary – be sure to take any vintage garments to the dry cleaners before you take them home. Vintage clothing and soft furnishings are often the source of Clothes Moth infestations

Are Clothes Moths making a meal of your winter woollies?

Call Avon Pest Control today on 01789 293 463 or 01926 632 929, or click here for our contact information; let our environmentally friendly pest control service resolve your pest problem for you.

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