The moth decoy

What is the moth decoy?

The moth decoy is your ultimate defence against clothes moths. Designed as part of an integrated approach to moth management, the moth decoy will help you combat the problem of clothes moths in your home.

Moth Decoy | Total Wardrobe CareHow the moth decoy works

The moth decoy is a small tablet infused with the female sex pheromone of the clothes moth. Placed strategically in a room it attracts the male moth away from your cupboards and wardrobes in search of the source of the potent powder. Soon he finds his antennae coated in electrostatic powder which blocks the receptors and confuses his whole mating cycle. Instead of searching for female partners, he flies around in a daze, with other males being attracted by the pheromones firmly stuck to his antennae. Meanwhile the females find themselves left out in the cold. The result is utter confusion in the moth camp. Their lifecycle is interrupted, over time creating a significant reduction in the damaging larvae population.

Widely used in industry and agriculture to counteract damage from insects, the pheromone system has proved highly effective in protecting precious artefacts, vintage clothing and fabrics in historic buildings, theatres, palaces and stately homes across the UK.

The science behind the moth decoy

Moth aware

There are two different types of clothes moths: the webbing clothes moth (Tineola Biselliella) and the case making clothes moth (Tinea Pellionella).

Moths lay between 40 and 50 eggs during a two-week process. Your clothes, soft furnishings and fabrics provide the ideal hiding place for the larvae that make the most of the ambient temperatures in wardrobes, cupboards and drawers, using your precious clothes as a source of protein. The larvae period can last between 35 days and 2.5 years, during which time they can cause considerable damage.

The power of pheromones

The moth decoy contains a mixture of carnauba wax micro powder infused with synthetic female moth pheromone in the form of a small discrete tablet.

The tablets release the pheromones which attract male moths. When a male moth comes in contact with the electrostatic powder, it sticks to the antenna, blocking the moth’s receptors, confusing the moth into thinking he has found a female.

The affected male moth then becomes a decoy. It acts as a mobile pheromone dispenser producing ‘false’ pheromone trails which attract and confuse other males and disrupt the mating cycle. The moths are prevented from breeding so the damaging larvae fail to emerge.

Over time, without any moths being killed, monitoring moth traps will show a reduction in the number of moths caught.

Read our dedicate blog about the science behind the moth decoy for further information.

Step by step moth protection

Follow these simple steps to protect your items against damage from clothes moths.

  • Install: Place one moth decoy in each room affected
  • Identify: Buy moth boxes for each of the affected rooms
  • Deep clean: Hoover and shampoo carpets, dry clean bedspreads, remove clothes from wardrobes and drawers, wipe clean inside wardrobes and drawers, wash all washable clothes and dry clean
  • Return: Clothes to wardrobes and drawers
  • Add: Scented anti-moth sachets
  • Check: After a month, check the contents of the moth box and count the number of moths
  • Replace: Replace each moth decoy after three months
  • Monitor: Renew the moth box every 6 months

The moth decoy works as part of an integrated moth control programme. Moth boxes provide a useful indicator moth activity over time. As the system works with the lifecycle of the moth, within 9-12 months you should notice a reduction in the moth population.

Instructions for use

Purchase our moth decoy as annual subscription so you don’t have to remember order another one, it will just arrive in time to be replaced or as part of our annual full coverage moth protection.

The moth decoy is part of an integrated moth management programme which includes cleaning, storage, anti-moth products and moth traps to monitor moth activity.

  • Moth Box and Moth Decoy | Total Wardrobe CareInstall moth trap box to establish where you have a problem
  • Place one moth decoy in each affected room
  • Do not use in a wardrobe or cupboard
  • Avoid locating near extreme air movement such as a door or window
  • Place the tablets no higher than 2 metres from the floor
  • Keep away from children and pets. This product is non-toxic
  • Replace after three months
  • Use in conjunction with moth boxes to monitor progress
  • Moth boxes should be located on the opposite side of the room

Frequently asked questions

Can I use the moth decoy by itself?

The moth decoy is designed as part of an integrated approach to moth management. We offer a comprehensive a range of anti-moth products to help you combat clothes moths in your home.

How do I know the moth decoy is working?

Check your pheromone moth trap. One should be in each room to monitor. Although you can’t smell it or see it working, the moth decoy works 24×7 attracting the male moths and confusing the mating cycle.

How many moth decoys do I need?

For your peace of mind we recommend that you install a moth decoy in each of the rooms where you have detected moths.

How long does the moth decoy last?

You will need to replace the moth decoy after three months. When you subscribe to the moth decoy replacements will be sent to you automatically every three months to ensure continuous cover.

Do the moths reproduce all year round?

Moths like warm temperatures. In heated buildings the moths can reproduce throughout the year.

What are the tablets made from?

The moth decoy contains a mixture of carnauba wax micro powder infused with synthetic female moth pheromone in the form of a small discrete tablet. Carnauba wax is derived from the leaves of a palm that is native to and grown only in northeastern Brazil. Inert, safe and odour free, the carnauba wax is used in many industrial and agricultural situations. This wax is also used on apples and smarties to give them shine.

Where should I put my moth decoy?

Put one tablet in each room affected. Place on a surface no higher than 2 metres. Do not place in the wardrobe or near a window or door. Keep away from children and pets. The tablet acts like a room diffuser, spreading through the air and downwards. Moth boxes should be placed at the same height at least 5 metres away from the moth decoy.

Why am I seeing more moths after I have installed the moth decoy?

Don’t be surprised if, initially, you see more moths: the moth decoy is designed to draw them out of their hiding places. The pheromones attract and excite the moths, overloading their senses. Don’t be tempted to catch these moths. Leave them to do their work and spread the pheromones around to confuse the rest of the male moth population.

How long will it take to work?

The lifecycle of the clothes moth will vary depending on temperature and humidity, but on average it will take three lifecycles (three months each) to take affect.

Does the moth decoy kill moths?

The moth decoy uses a small amount of female sex pheromone of the clothes moth. It does not contain insecticide and is not designed to kill moths.

Why does the tablet need to be changed every three months?

The pheromone in the moth decoy is released in powder form at an optimum rate to attract male moths. In a similar way to a room scent diffuser the rate decreases over time, and after three months the table needs to be replaced to maintain optimum efficiency.

How will I know when to replace my moth decoys?

Once you have placed your order, our system ensures that we send you your replacement moth decoys every three months.

Collection of moth prevention products from total wardrobe care

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