Natural Clothes Moth Control

Clothes moth larvae in a carpet.

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.

Clothes moths have a distinctive golden colour.

NEW, 2020 Clothes Moth Research

Webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) & Pale-backed clothes moth (Monopis crocicapitella)

  • Properties built prior to 1960 often have the worst infestations of textile moths.
  • Older properties contain more structural gaps through which moths enter – chimneys, wall vents, attics, 
  • A Cluttered and densely furnished is much harder to clean making it dust deposits more common and attractive to moths.
  • Buildings with exposed floorboards have higher moth activity as larvae are difficult to treat.
  • Properties with dogs and cats are at higher risk.
  • Wardrobes, drawers and laundry bins often become densely packed with clothing which increases the risk of infestation.
  • Washing textiles below 60˚C or not dry-cleaning increases the risk to textiles.
  • Carpeted floors where vacuuming is neglected will be at higher risk.
  • Damp rooms or those exposed to higher humidity and heat often suffer most.

What Do Clothes Moths Feed On?

Carpet damaged by moth damage larvae in Bristol

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 and stained mixed fibre products are routinely attacked by moth larvae. Even partially synthetic textiles often get damaged.

We often notice damage on carpets stained by various means in bathrooms and toilets. Also, the corners of rooms where pets like cats and dogs may have previously defecated or urinated.

Fabrics 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
Merino wool
Dorset wool
Lincoln wool

Other materials attacked include leather, silk, felt and fur.

Moth larvae don’t always begin life feeding on your clothes. Moths 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 To Control Moths

A deep clean of carpets beneath and behind furniture can sometimes deliver outstanding results without the need for pesticides.

Conversely, many homes have mothballs and pheromone traps throughout, yet moths remain abundant.

So, are the moths abundant because the traps don’t work? No, the real reason is you’re not cleaning or tackling these insects in the right places or the right way.

Textiles get attacked for two 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 heavy items of furniture that are rarely if ever moved.

10 Steps For A Moth Free Home

  • Identify the worst affected carpets or garments
  • Ensure you have accurately identified the pest species
  • Deep clean all areas, carpets or garments
  • Set aside clothing in protective storage for treatment
  • 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 holistic or residual pesticide spray or fog to affected areas
  • Compare photos after 8 weeks for signs of new damage
  • Repeat as required

Professional Moth Control

Significant insect damage to carpets

When you’ve tried everything and the textiles are still in jeopardy, a professional inspection should be carried out.

Professional residual sprays, fumigants and many other control methods offer outstanding results.

Insects closely associated with carpets and textiles include carpet moths, clothes moths and carpet beetles.

Additional Reading

Bristol Pest Control Services – Local Places And Areas Our Pest Control Service Covers

Bristol – Clevedon – Portishead – St Annes – St Pauls – Bath – Sneyd Park – Fishponds – Eastville – Easton – Frenchay – Filton – Westbury – Stoke Bishop – Stoke Park – Southville – Long Ashton – Patchway – Bradley Stoke

Clothes moth facts you will love!