Sometimes, clothes moth infestations get to critical levels where damage to clothes, fabrics, carpets and wall hangings etc. is extensive and adult moths can even be seen flying around. Whilst a range of tactics should be used in an integrated approach such as cleaning, monitoring with both visual inspections of clothes and pheromone moth boxes, and repelling with strong scented essential oil-based products, in these circumstances you may have to resort to using a killer moth spray first. Doing this will provide an initial knockdown of the clothes moth population before you bring in all of the other tools we have to offer, and this is where our Chrysanthemum Moth spray comes in.
What spray kills moths?
You may have deduced from our product range that I prefer to use natural products where I can. For a long time, we didn’t have a moth spray in our range because it took me a lot of research to source the right formulation, which we now have, I’m delighted to say. And we’ve not just used the name of a flower to make it sound nice!
The active ingredient (the bit that kills the insects) is located and extracted from the flower head of certain Chrysanthemums such as Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium. The extracted compound is called ‘Pyrethrum’, it is made up of six ‘pyrethrins’ which each have an insecticidal effect and work on contact with the insect. So, when pyrethrum comes into contact with the insect, it penetrates the insect’s cuticle (body surface), then over excites its nervous system and kills it.
What do look for in a moth spray?
As is the case with essential oils which repel and pheromones which disrupt, the use of Pyrethrum is not new. It was discovered over two centuries ago in Asia when it became evident that certain flowers showed no sign of insect attack while others nearby did. Those flower heads were ground up and sprinkled over other crops to protect them. In the 1940’s, chemical companies developed their own synthetic (man-made) versions, known as pyrethroids, based on the structure of the individual pyrethrins that together make up Pyrethrum. These synthetic versions are used today in agriculture, animal health and public health but they are formulated with other ingredients to increase their killing effect or the amount of time that they last, this is because pyrethrins are highly photosensitive and degrade very quickly in the presence of light and air. For indoor use, you want a product to be around long enough to work, but you also want it to go away quite quickly afterwards. To achieve this, we’ve gone back to basics and use natural Pyrethrum directly from the Chrysanthemum flower.
Is moth spray dangerous?
Our Chrysanthemum moth spray uses all naturally sourced ingredients from specialist farms in Kenya. We have taken care to source a formulation which has no organo-chlorine pesticides, no synthetic materials, and no harmful synergists such as PBO’s (Piperonyl butoxide) commonly used in other formulations. We have also included our signature May Chang blend of essential oils which is sourced from the New Forest National Park in the UK and is unique to us. However, just because a product is natural, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used with care. Our formula, though naturally derived, is potent so you should read the label, follow the instructions and wear a mask before you spray.
How to use Chrysanthemum moth spray
So now I’ve explained the technical part, here is how to use the Chrysanthemum moth spray;
A treatment will take eight hours so if you’re treating a bedroom or a room that you need to use in the evening, start early in the morning.
Prepare the room before using the moth spray
If your infestation in also in wardrobes and draws, you need to include them in the treatment so empty them, check clothes for damage, throw away unrecoverable items and send the remaining items to the dry cleaners or wash what can go in the machine. This can be a job in itself so you may need to do this the day before. You can also invest in a clothes steamer as these can be used on the most fragile garments, and will kill all moths, larvae and eggs present in clothing.
Give the room a good vacuum including under the furniture.
Close all windows and curtains in the room to be treated and open (emptied) wardrobes and draws. As mentioned above, pyrethrum will break down quickly in light and air so this step will help it maintain its potency.
Before you use the moth spray, put on a face mask, then starting furthest away from the door and working your way back towards the door, spray the items that are likely to harbour adult moths. These include the edges of carpets, the backs of curtains, underneath furniture, into air bricks and wardrobes and draws, paying attention to cracks and crevices. Leave the room and close the door for four hours.
After four hours, open the doors, curtains and windows and leave the room to air for another four hours before using it again. Then replace all cleaned clothes in the wardrobes and draws.
Once you have treated the room, you should consider using other methods to keep the population under control, this includes regular cleaning, disrupting the lifecycle with pheromones and repelling with essential oils. Our wide range of anti-moth products cover all of these methods and you can find out more about how to use these in our previous blogs here and here.
If you have any questions about our products or would like advice about your clothes moth infestation, we are happy to help.
Please note: Pyrethrum is harmful to all insects, fish and cats.