Moth Control

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Signs of a Moth Infestation

The presence of moths in your home can be frustrating. Not just because of the damage they can cause, but it’s likely to be damage to clothes, textiles and fabric that you may have an emotional attachment to – nobody wants to find damage on their carefully stored wedding dress, or holes in a quilted throw handed down from a beloved grandmother. The damage these pests can cause to carpets, curtains and upholstery can also become very costly.

What Damage do Moths Cause?

FACT: Moths don’t actually eat fabric, their main purpose is to reproduce, it’s their larvae that do all the damage.

In the UK there are four species of moth found in homes that can cause problems and these moths have differing preferences for materials, which means their larvae cause slightly different damage to fabrics and materials, for example:

  • Common Clothes Moth larvae - cause irregular shaped holes in natural fabrics. Adults lay cream coloured eggs, which hatch into creamy white larvae.
  • Case Bearing Clothes Moth larvae - create smaller, more regular shaped holes in garments and textiles. The larvae are white with a brown head.
  • Brown House Moth larvae - tend to prefer animal based materials like feathers and leather. They are the most common type of house moth.
  • White Shouldered House Moth larvae - scavenge on a wide range of food, so are a little less damaging to textiles, they will make small circular holes in natural fibres. These moths tend to be rarer than other species.
signs of moth damage to clothes

Signs of a Moth Problem

The first thing most people notice is the damage caused to clothes, fabrics or carpets but there are other indicators of a moth infestation:

  • Small maggot like larvae (moth caterpillars)
  • Silken tubes or 'cases' in which the moth larvae live
  • Pupae (silk cocoons) from which larvae eventually emerge as adult moths
  • Adult moths that are often crawling rather than flying

Another cause of carpet or fur damage can be fur or carpet beetles rather than moths. These textile beetles along with house moths are often referred to as textile pests.

FACT: Fear of moths is called Mottephobia

Call Rentokil free on 0800 218 2210 if you are worried about an infestation in your home.