Moths are considered a nuisance – and a frustration when you find holes in your favourite woolly jumper – but do not pose a threat to human health.
If you believe some media reports, the instances of moth infestations in the UK are becoming increasingly common and so it pays to know how to get rid of them if you find you have a moth problem, along with preventing them too.
Moth infestation – the signs
It is the emerging larvae that cause the damage, not the adult moths but once moths reach maturity, they will start the life cycle of laying eggs etc. Breaking this cycle and preventing moths from laying eggs in certain places is the way forward but, if you do have a moth infestation there will be some tell-tale signs;
- If you think you may have an infestation, check wardrobes and cupboards for larvae cases, the adult moths themselves and damage to clothes or material (usually a hole!)
- However, when there is a heavy infestation, on exposing the interior of a cupboard or wardrobe to light, you may adult moths fly out
- Don’t dismiss a web as being a spider’s web as some of these webs are spun by larvae, and may contain empty cases
- You may also notice dust or frass at the base of wardrobes or nearby; this is the waste caused by larvae chewing and eating various materials
- Always check other places such as the underside of chairs, beds and any item that is covered in upholstery
- Carpets can also be damaged, so check under furniture
A moth myth…
Many people assume that moths only attack completely natural materials. Whilst it is true that moth thrive on natural fabrics such as wool, silk, fur and cotton, any material that contains these materials are susceptible to moth damage. In fact, in tests, it has been proven that materials contain as little as 25% natural fibres will be attacked by moth larvae.
Getting rid of moths
There are a variety of over-the-counter treatments that can be bought but, unless they are used correctly, they offer very little resistance or help in eradicating moths.
An expert pest controller know where to look and how to deal with moths, larvae and eggs, as well as having different methods and chemicals for use, depending on the type if moth.
Prevention is always better than cure and in the case of moths, once they have been eradicated and there are several steps you can take;
- Before storing clothes or other material items, ensure they are washed and clean
- Storing items in air-tight plastic bags prevents moths from gaining access to natural materials and laying their eggs on them
- Ensure the outside of the property – eaves, guttering etc. – are free-from birds’ nests as they can attract moths
- Vacuuming in enclosed spaces, such as under furniture and in wardrobes not only remove any eggs but also helps to keep places dust-free (moths can be attracted to dust and other ‘organic matter’ as a food source)
- Cracks etc. in skirting boards etc. should also be sealed to prevent places being available where moths can lay and harbour their eggs.
If you think you have moths and would like help and advice, contact us today!