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Clothes Moths (Tineola bisselliella)
The common clothes moth is a small, metallic gold, nuisance pest that flies around in front of the TV at night or sits on the wall next to your bed.
By contrast, case bearing carpet moths are larger and grey in appearance.
What Do Clothes Moth Larvae Feed On?
Moth larvae feed on animal-derived products and fibres made from a protein called keratin. Animal hair, fur, wool and feathers are all made from keratin.
In nature, the larvae develop in bird nests, on animal carcasses.
Heavily soiled or stained mixed fibre products are also attacked by larvae even though they are partly synthetic.
We often notice that carpets get stained by various means in bathrooms, toilets, and the corners of rooms where pets like cats and dogs may have previously defecated or urinated.
Materials Eaten By Clothes Moth Larvae
Hair based fabrics from goats, alpacas and rabbits
Angora – From the Angora rabbit
Mohair – From the Angora goat
Alpaca – From Alpacas
Cashmere or Pashmina – From Cashmere goats
Woollen fabrics from sheep
Other materials attacked include leather, silk, felt and fur.
Clothes moth larvae don’t always begin life feeding on your clothes, they begin feeding on your skin! Skin flakes from humans and pets build up in the dust under large items of furniture of which 70-80% is skin flakes.
How Are Clothes Moths Controlled?
A deep clean of carpets beneath and behind furniture can sometimes deliver outstanding results without the need for pesticides.
Many homes we visit have mothballs and pheromone traps throughout. Despite these common remedies, moths remain abundant.
Is this because the traps don’t work? No, the real reason is you are not cleaning or tackling these insects in the right places or in the right way.
Most of the real damage is caused to textiles in two specific locations and for two very different reasons.
Wardrobes, tightly packed with clothes enable clothes moths and their larvae to remain concealed and undisturbed.
Large items of furniture are the other reason for moth infestations. We visit properties with huge, heavy items of furniture that are almost never moved.
A Simple Way To Control Clothes Moths
- Identify the worst affected carpets or garments
- Ensure you have accurately identified the pest species
- Deep clean all areas, carpets or garments
- Set aside and protect clothing so storage can be treated
- Focus on low-footfall areas of carpet not usually seen or cleaned
- Decide if any damage necessitates disposal and replacement
- Take photos of existing damage
- Apply a residual pesticide spray or fog to affected areas
- Compare photos after 8 weeks for signs of new damage
- Repeat as required
Professional Carpet Moth Control
When you have tried everything else and your textiles are still in jeopardy, professional inspection and treatment is your very best option.
Professional residual sprays, fumigants and many other control methods offer outstanding results.