Have you recently gone into your wardrobe to put on your best suit or favourite cashmere jumper and noticed some strange white fluff attached to it? But when you brush the fluff off, you discover several holes are uncovered. If this sounds all too familiar, then unfortunately, it could mean that you have a clothes moth infestation.
Winter and spring are the main feeding months for moth larvae, which are responsible for all this damage. So you need to be vigilant in inspecting your clothes regularly to check whether you have a problem. But it is not just your most expensive clothes that clothes moths target; they also love your natural fibre carpets and rugs. And just to make it more challenging for you to find them, these clever moths tend to hide away in dark undisturbed areas where you are least likely to see them. So think of that carpet or rug under your bed that is difficult to clean, or clothes tucked away in a wardrobe that you don’t use very often, as this is where a clothes moth infestation is likely to be found.
In order to recognise clothes moths (also known as Tineola bisselliella), they are roughly 5mm in length and a buff or yellowish-brown in colour (see our pest page clothes moth page, which shows a photo of clothes moths attached to a moth pheromone trap). But it is not the adult moth that causes the damage; it is their hatched larvae which do all the eating. The larvae of clothes moths are fairly transparent, and so they often appear the same colour as the fabric they are eating, making them difficult to see.
If you happen to notice the odd moth flying around your house during summer, do not fall into the trap of thinking that it is just a regular moth and that it will find its way outside eventually. Have a look in your wardrobes and around the back of your sofas and if a moth flies out, then it is highly likely to be a clothes moth that has been laying eggs. If you do find any indication that there is indeed a clothes moth infestation, you need to destroy their life cycle, before they destroy your clothes!
Clothes moths can be extremely difficult to eradicate completely, especially for a long established clothes moth infestation.
If you wait too long, you will be facing the terrible problem of dealing with an established infestation, which can be more time consuming and more costly to solve.
From when the moth lays the eggs until the eggs hatch into larvae can take anywhere from four days (in summer) to three weeks (in winter), and so your treatments need to reflect these seasonable timing differences.
A multi-targeting approach is usually best to control a clothes moth infestation and the range of options available to you is listed below:
1) Trapping clothes moths on moth pheromone traps, is effective to only a limited degree as unfortunately this method only tends to trap the male moths. However, these traps do provide an excellent means of monitoring the level of your current infestation, as lots of trapped moths in a few days means that you have a serious problem. The other benefit of the pheromone traps is that as the male clothes moths will be drawn to them, and trapped, then at least they are prevented from mating with female moths once they have been captured. But be aware that most clothes moths rarely fly, especially the females who tend to run or hop in order to travel to their destinations. If you happen to see a clothes moth in the air it is likely that this will be a male flying about in search of a mate. It is this act of mating that is used to lure the clothes moths into the pheromone trap.
2) You may attempt to physically catch the moths and kill them but unfortunately, even this may not entirely solve your problem. Clothes moths lay eggs which, once hatched, produce
larvae and unless these are also destroyed, they will grow into moths and the clothes moth infestation will re-occur.
3) Invest in a spray that is used specifically to kill clothes moths. This can be an effective solution for getting rid of clothes moths, but as the spray is not able to kill the eggs, this will not prevent the eggs hatching out and recommencing their life cycle of eating your clothes.
4) A final method is to bring in professional exterminators; who will visit your house and undertake a number of treatments to greatly reduce (or if the infestation is small, eradicate) your current clothes moth infestation. The first treatment is to kill off the clothes moths that already exist. The second treatment is absolutely essential when getting rid of clothes moths as it is this treatment which kills off any remaining larvae that may have hatched from the eggs since the first treatment.
Terminex Limited is one of the few pest control companies that specialises in getting rid of clothes moths. We have a highly trained entomologist who specialised in insects at Imperial College London and is able to analyse your problem very accurately and offer a tailored solution that will help eradicate your moths as quickly as possible. It often works out cheaper to use our top specialist at Terminex, as he is very successful at finding the most efficient solution, which is also likely to be the quickest and cheapest way of getting rid of clothes moths. The minimum number of treatments for a clothes moth infestation is two treatments, as it is essential to treat the moth’s life cycle both before and after the eggs hatch out.
Do telephone or email us to come and take a look at your problem, as we offer free on-site surveys for getting rid of clothes moths, which in themselves will provide you a great deal of advice on the various options that are available to you. Terminex is a company that really cares that all its customers receive the highest level of service possible, and it is for this reason that many of our customers return to use us again for any new or different problems they experience. We are also delighted to offer discounts to returning customers, even if you only used our services several years ago.
Just call us on 020 7503 8234, or email us at email@example.com and we will be delighted to assist you with your clothes moth infestation.
Love from your Terminex team