Do you have holes in your clothes? Are they intentional fashion statements? If so, move along, there’s nothing to read here! However, if holes in your clothes keep mysteriously appearing and there is nothing intentional about them, you may be an unsuspecting victim of clothes moths. Sorry to break it to you, have a sit down, take a deep breath and read on because we have all the information and products you will need to beat them.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE CLOTHES MOTH?
Clothes moths are secretive and shy but they can’t hide indefinitely. At some point they will provide you with evidence of their existence. If you keep finding holes in your clothes then it’s almost certainly clothes moths so your next step will be to thoroughly search for confirmation.
Clothes moth larvae feed on natural fibres which contain a protein called keratin, so damage will be targeted at cashmere, wool, silk, leather, fur or feathers. Damage is likely to be concentrated in areas which have sweat, stains or food residues, even ones you can’t see, so when searching wardrobes, pay attention to underarms, collar and cuffs, the insides of pockets and the crotch. A caveat to this is holes around the tummy button area as these are most likely to be caused by wear from trouser buttons and belt buckles.
An infestation may be focused in soft furnishings so be sure to check the backs of curtains, under sofas, chairs, cushions and the underside of rugs. Similarly underneath beds and chests of drawers or wardrobes where there is a small gap underneath them.
When searching, you may find actual larvae or webbing which looks a bit like small bundles of cobwebs. This is technically called frass and it includes larval waste.
If you have a reasonable infestation then you may notice small silvery moths flying, usually around skirting boards or out of wardrobes. They are not strong flyers so unless they have a curtain to scale they will generally be quite near the floor. Adult moths won’t damage your clothes but they will mate and produce the next generation of hungry larvae. If you see moths flying, then there will be clothes moth larvae munching away somewhere.
If you can’t find any evidence, use our Moth Box to do the work for you. The moth box uses the specific pheromone that the female clothes moth uses to attract male clothes moths. Place the Moth Box underneath furniture. Male clothes moths will be attracted to the Moth Box and will be caught on the sticky board which you should check weekly for moths. If you are not sure which room your moth infestation is located in, place a Moth Box in each room. The box with most moths caught will give you an idea of the likely source so you can pinpoint your search and treatment.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE CLOTHES MOTH?
Clothes moth can be persistent and take a long time to eradicate but with an organised, systematic approach it is absolutely achievable and many of the tasks are good housekeeping practices anyway so it will provide an incentive to do the chores you may have been putting off.
First, give your affected wardrobe and room a deep clean. Remove all the clothes and sort into piles that can be cleaned at home or need to go to the dry cleaners. Vacuum the room from top to bottom including on top of and underneath furniture. Vacuum inside wardrobes and drawers; you’ll be amazed at how much dust has collected.
Dust contains skin cells which have tasty keratin that clothes moth love, so regular dusting is important. At this point you may wish to treat your room with our bespoke Chrysanthemum Moth Killer Spray. This requires a full day, find out How to Carry out a Full Treatment.
PREPARE YOUR WARDROBE TO COMBAT CLOTHES MOTHS
Once your clothes are clean, dry and pressed you can put them back but not before you have prepared your wardrobe. Clothes moths detest strong scents so to prevent them from returning, use fragrance. We have developed a line of scented products which feature our range of bespoke fragrances that combine specially selected essentials oils that clothes moths hate. Made in the New Forest by a qualified perfumier, our range includes Drawer Liners, Pot Pourri Cones, Scented Sachets, Linen Sprays and more.
PROTECT CLOTHES IN YOUR WARDROBEAs well as repelling clothes moth, you can store clothes in a way that protects them from clothes moth. Placing susceptible items like woollens and cashmere in our Knitwear Storage Bags, especially when they are stored away for the season, will set your mind at rest. We also have protective Full Length Storage Bags for dresses, coats and suits.
GET RID OF CLOTHES MOTHS FOR GOOD
Even if you meticulously carry out all the above tasks, you must remain vigilant as sometimes the source of an infestation it difficult to get first time round, especially if you have a residual population in an air vent, a chimney or under floor boards, which is more likely to occur in older properties. In this situation, consider using the Moth Decoy, a pheromone based product which disrupts the mating cycle of clothes moth over the long term. You can find a full description of the science of the Moth Decoy.