How to Get Rid of Moths

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How to Get Rid of Moths

A few moth species can unfortunately cause a lot of unsightly damage to clothes, carpets and other materials in your home or business. Taking immediate action as soon as you see the tell-tale signs of moths is vital.

Tips to Help get Rid of Moth Larvae

Follow these tips and advice to help reduce moth larvae in your home, whilst our local pest team treat your moth problem:

  1. Change vacuum bags often - to make sure you remove larvae & eggs from your property, emptying your vacuum outside & carefully double bag the content before placing in outside bin.
  2. Wash all fabrics - soft furnishings, linens, rugs, blankets, curtains & towels in the affected area – moth larvae find these as tasty as clothes.
  3. Keep clothes clean - female moths like to lay eggs on fabrics stained with sweat or urine as the larvae gain more nutrients from these. Always clean clothes before putting them back in your wardrobe.
  4. Clean and wash down affected furniture - wardrobes, cupboards and drawers, especially cracks & crevices where moth eggs can be hidden out of sight.
  5. Clean suitcases - bags, storage boxes & containers as these might be hiding more eggs or larvae.
  6. Check vintage - purchases whether vintage clothes or antique linens & soft furnishings should be dry cleaned or treated before being placed with existing fabrics.
  7. Be vigilant - keep a constant look out for holes in garments & keep rooms dry and well-ventilated.
Adult clothes moth

Clothes Moths

There are two clothes moth species found in the UK that are the main culprits for nibbling on your garments - the Common Clothes Moth and the Case-Bearing Clothes Moth. Both are small and seldom seen, as they prefer to dark, undisturbed areas such as little used:

  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Cupboards
  • Drawers
  • Wardrobes
  • Spaces under beds

They also prefer to avoid light, opting to hide in folds of fabrics, corners, cracks and crevices in quiet forgotten areas.

Adult clothes moths don't feed, but females can lay between 40 and 50 eggs onto fabrics which can hatch within 10 days if warm enough, but can take longer to hatch at colder temperatures. It's this larval stage of clothes moths that feed on the ‘keratin’ within natural fibres, causing surface damage and generating holes in the fabric. Sometimes the larvae can be seen crawling slowly, moving from the material they hatch on, particularly Case-Bearing Clothes Moths which can travel a considerable distance from the originally infested area to find secure cracks and crevices in which to spin cocoons to develop into adult moths.

The larvae will happily feed on a variety of animal based items including:

  • Wool
  • Cottons
  • Silks
  • Cashmere
  • Feathers & Fur
  • Leather

There are a variety of possessions that can potentially be infested by clothes moths:

  • Jumpers
  • Scarves
  • Coats
  • Hats
  • Suits
  • Blankets
  • Linens
  • Carpets & rugs
  • Down filled pillows
  • Soft toys
  • Cushions
  • Upholstered furniture

It’s even been known for moth larvae to feed on the felts within pianos and organs as well as feeding in air ducts containing lint, shed pet hairs and other organic debris. Synthetic fabrics such as rayon and polyester are rarely damaged, unless they are blended with a natural fibre such as wool.

Moth damage to carpet

Carpet Moths

Carpet Moths (Trichophaga tapetzella) are also known as Tapestry Moths. They are a similar size to Clothes Moths and their larvae have the same taste in fabrics, furnishings and garments, the ‘keratin’ in natural fibres. They happily munch their way through wool carpets and silk rugs. The adult moths live only a few months, but females can lay up to 200 eggs in this time – in quiet, dark, undisturbed areas. Favoured locations for the moth larvae are:

  • Under sofas
  • Behind heavy curtains
  • Along skirting boards
  • Beneath heavy, rarely moved furniture

The larvae can live for up to two years eating away at the natural fibres leaving balding patches at the corners or edges of carpets and rugs. Often the larvae will be the same colour as the carpet fibres they are consuming, as they have digested the dyes in the carpet pile. In ambient temperature they can produce several generations in one year. 

Tapestry / Carpet moths such as (Trichophaga tapetzella) use to be prevalent, but have become relatively rare in the UK these days. If you find small bald patches at the edges or corners of carpets and rugs - containing natural fibres like wool and silk (even blended wool pile that contains synthetic fibres can be affected). Any damage is much more likely to be caused by Clothes Moth larvae or Carpet Beetle damage than by Carpet Moths.

Moth Control Treatments

Our range of expert treatments offer targeted solutions, to ensure we get rid of your moth problem is eliminated quickly and effectively. Our treatment options include:

  1. Targeted ph neutral insecticide spray treatments
  2. Pesticide free 'heat pod' treatments
  3. Controlled Atmosphere Technology (CAT) treatments for delicate, fragile or heat sensitive items
  4. Clothes Moth Riddance package - Integrated Pest Management solution specifically to control Clothes Moths

How Rentokil Can Help

Our local experts are able to quickly:

  • Identify - the specific moth species and the extent of the infestation
  • Recommend - the most appropriate moth treatment for your property
  • Implement - effective, targeted treatments to get rid of moths quickly
  • Advise -  on actions you can take to help prevent further moth problems

So if you've spotted any signs of a moth infestation call us now on 0800 218 2210 to arrange for our local experts to help get rid of moths from your property.