Pest Control News

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Clothes Moths

Clothes Moths

As we move into autumn and start getting out the woolly jumpers and big warm coats, you may notice some holes in your much-loved clothes. Interestingly, it is not the adult moths that make holes in your clothes, it is the moth larvae. 

The life cycle of the moth

·      Eggs- Female moths will lay around 100 eggs in a lifetime. These eggs are laid on a food source so once they hatch, they are able to feed immediately.
·      Larvae- This stage of development is the most destructive. It is the larvae that munch their way through clothes and bedding.
·      Pupa- This is the cocoon stage. Typically, it will last around 20 days but this is dependent on the environment and the warmth.
·      Adults- Adult moths do not feed, their only interest is mating before they die.


What they look like

Due to the different stages of development, moths can look very different. Moth eggs are small in size and typically a milky white colour. The larvae are more maggot/caterpillar-like in appearance, in size and and the same colour as eggs. The adult moth is typically brown/yellow in colouring and is small in size, roughly 10mm including wingspan. 


What they eat

Moth larvae will eat a variety of fabrics from carpets, curtains, soft furnishings and clothes. A favourite food fibre is wool. They will also feed on human hair and pet hair. Whilst eating, they also produce silk threads. These could be confused with cobwebs produced by spiders, so it is always best to check for other signs of infestations. 


Signs of Moths

·      Holes in stored garments or sheets
·      Patches in carpets
·      Damage to soft furnishing including holes
·      A distinct smell


Where to find them

Moths will lay their eggs in a multitude of locations as long as there is a food source nearby and may even lay their eggs onto the food source. Favourite spots can include but are not limited to; stored clothing and bedding in wardrobes and under beds, stored carpet rolls in the loft, fabrics stored in rarely visited locations. As long as there is warmth and food, moths will continue to breed throughout the year.


How to prevent them

One really important way you can prevent moths infesting your home is regular deep cleaning. Pulling out all furniture, hoovering and dusting behind and underneath. When storing seasonal clothes and sheets, make sure they are cleaned before packing away, and done so in plastic containers with lids. Once you remove them again, it is best practice to give them another wash before putting them in your wardrobe or sheets on the bed. If you suspect a particular garment may have come into contact with moths, then freezing the garment will kill any moth eggs, larvae or adults. The same goes for excessive heat. Washing clothes and bedding at high temperatures is also a way to kill stages of moth development.


If you think that you have a moth problem, please give us a call. We can help!