Yes, moth traps really do work but how and why will take some explaining. Read on to find out all about moth traps and for answers to some of the questions we are commonly asked about moth traps.
What are moth traps?
Search for moth traps and you may find a few different items so lets just clarify what we are talking about. You may possibly find a moth light trap, which is a large item designed for outdoor use for moth enthusiasts to collect and collate information on different moth species in the area; this is definitely not the moth trap we are interested in here. There are 2,500 species of moth in the UK and only a few are responsible for destroying clothing. The moth trap we are discussing is for catching clothes moths inside the home. We call ours the moth box.
What is moth paper?
Your search engine may also show you something called moth paper. This is designed to be hung inside a wardrobe. It is impregnated with an insecticide that kills moths on contact and via inhalation. It does not physically trap clothes moths. We are not talking about this here. At Total Wardrobe Care, we only sell natural products.
How do moth traps work?
The moth trap we are discussing is a pheromone moth trap. Pheromone moth traps consist of a sticky glue board inside a small box. The glue is impregnated with the pheromone that the female clothes moth uses to attract male clothes moths to mate. Therefore, the moth trap attracts male clothes moths to it, which then stick to the glue board and die. A moth trap is designed to be placed in one or more rooms, in dark undisturbed areas such as underneath wardrobes. It should not be used inside a wardrobe.
Do moth traps kill all moths?
In order to mate, female moths emit a pheromone from a gland on their abdomen to signal to the male that they are ready. The males have receptors on their antennae which detect the pheromone. This means they can trace where the pheromone is coming from and find the female. Each pheromone is specific to the moth species a bit like a lock and key, so the moth trap attracts only the species of moth that it is designed to because the pheromone it uses is species specific.
Do fly traps catch moths?
Insect traps are designed with the behaviour of the target insect in mind. Fly traps are designed with attractants that flies like and to be placed where flies are likely to be flying or landing. Clothes moths do not behave the same way as flies. They are shy creatures that seek dark undisturbed places where they can eat natural fibres and lay their eggs in peace.
I would definitely not want to put a fly trap in my bedroom or wardrobe. Moth traps use the specific pheromone to attract male clothes moths and are designed to fit neatly under furniture, exactly where the moths are likely to be. If you want to catch clothes moths, use a clothes moth trap!
How to use moth traps
Clothes moth traps are super tools because they can be used in a number of different ways. If you don’t have moths but you have lots of expensive natural fibre garments in your wardrobe that you want to protect or if you suspect you might have moths but haven’t seen any clothes moths to prove it, then the moth trap can be used as an early warning signal. Check it weekly and if you catch a moth you know you have some work to do. If you think you have moths in multiple rooms, then put a trap in each room.
If you have a small infestation, and by that, I mean you catch 1 or 2 moths a week in a moth trap, then the moth trap alone might be enough to keep it at bay. I say this with a strong caveat that you should also be doing other moth prevention activities like regularly vacuuming your wardrobe and checking your garments, storing clothes away clean and in protective garment bags, and using moth repelling essential oils.
If the glue board fills up with moths in one or two weeks than the moth trap alone will not be enough; remember that it only removes the male moths from the population. A female moth can lay up to 300 eggs in her lifetime and the more moths about means that the chances of a female finding a male to mate with before it gets caught in a moth trap are higher. If this happens then you will need to take further action by carrying out a full deep clean, treating the wardrobe and/or room with a killer spray such as our Chrysanthemum moth spray and deploying the Moth decoy.
How to use a Moth trap with the Moth decoy
The Moth decoy is a long term solution which uses the same pheromone as the moth trap but instead of trapping and killing male clothes moths, it spreads pheromone around the male population using a special magic dust which stops the moths from mating. Okay, its not really magic dust, it’s a micronised natural wax powder with electrostatic properties but I think ‘magic dust’ has a better ring to it! Read a full description of the moth decoy science.
When used over the long term, the Moth decoy will bring down numbers and a Moth trap will provide the hard evidence of that. It will also alert you to the source or sources of infestation and guide you as to where you should be doing further investigations and deep cleans.
Read our blog to find out how to use our Moth box, Chrysanthemum moth spray and Moth decoy in conjunction to ‘locate, eliminate and confuse’ your moths. However, if you can’t find the information you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us, we are happy to help.