Clothes Moths: What are They and How to Spot an Infestation

Clothes pests may be small and unassuming, but they wreak havoc on your wardrobe and soft furnishings. Unlike other types of moth, they don’t fly around lights and they prefer to stay hidden. That’s why the first sign you might see that they’re in your home is holes in your favourite jumper or your wool carpet. Here’s our guide to clothes moths and how to spot an infestation.

What are Clothes Moths?

Clothes moths are a pale beige colour and are around 6-7mm long. ‘Moth Season’ lasts from May until October. Although clothes moths only actually live for about a month, a female can lay up to 100 eggs in that time. Larvae emerge after a week or two, and it’s the larvae that actually do the damage. Clothes moth larvae look like creamy-white caterpillars with a brown head, and they have a taste for natural fibres.

What Do Clothes Moth Larvae Eat?

They love natural fibres like wool, fur, silk, and feathers. This is because they contain a protein called keratin that they feed on. It’s not just your clothes that are at risk either, they might target soft furnishings made from natural fibres like wool carpets or silk rugs.

How to Spot a Clothes Moth Infestation

If you have an infestation in your home, here are the signs you need to look out for:

· Holes in clothing, fabric, or carpets;

· Increased shedding of things made from animal fur;

· The moths themselves which will be crawling rather than flying;

· Seeing larvae which look like small creamy-white maggots with a brown head;

· Silken tubes or ‘cases’ which house the larvae;

· Pupae, which are silk cocoons the larvae emerge from as adult moths.

How Do I Get Rid of Clothes Moths?

Break the life cycle

You can’t just kill the moths, you have to get rid of the eggs and larvae too. This means taking everything out of your wardrobe, vacuuming it thoroughly, then washing clothes at the highest temperature you can. Take any dry-clean only items to the dry cleaner. Remember to empty your vacuum in a rubbish bag, secure it, then take it to an outdoor bin.

Vacuum your home

Vacuum the rest of your home thoroughly, making sure to get into all those nooks and crannies you often forget about like underneath heavy furniture.

Call in professional pest control

An established clothes moth infestation can be hard to get rid of yourself. Without the proper knowledge and expertise, it can be hard to know whether you’ve completely eliminated an infestation. That’s where we come in. Our expert technicians will assess the extent of the problem, carry out an effective treatment to eliminate the moths from your home, and save your precious clothes!

How Can I Stop an Infestation from Happening Again?

Once we’ve treated the infestation, we’ll give you advice on how to prevent it from happening again. This will include things like:

Washing clothes before you put them away. Even if you’ve only worn a jumper for a couple of house, it might still have perspiration, skin oils, and food debris on it. This attracts clothes moth larvae.

Store vulnerable items carefully in airtight plastic boxes or vacuum storage bags.

Got a Problem with Clothes Moths?

Nip the destruction in the bud and save your precious possessions by calling Contego.

Need help now?

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