How to Control Clothes Moth
IMPORTANT If moth are attacking your carpets and soft furnishings, treatment is covered under our How to Control Carpet Moth page.
The dreaded Webbing Clothes Moth (Tineola bissellialla) or Common Clothes Moth, is a hugely damaging insect that hides itself away in your cupboards, wardrobes and drawers. With reproduction, female clothes moth produces 30-200 eggs per sitting and the resultant larvae can decimate your clothing. In cool conditions, these Clothes Moth larvae may continue causing damage for up to 30 months, although life cycle can be completed in 30 days if the environment is perfect for them. Cool conditions slow progress considerably. These larvae spin webbing mats under which to hide and generally like to emerge at night or in dark conditions in order to feed on your fabrics. Only natural fibres are eaten, yes, our favourite clothing materials like wool and silk. Anything containing Keratin may be attacked.
We are happy to be able to offer a spray specifically to use on clothing (woollens, cashmere) We have waited a long time for this product to come to market, so now we have it.
Some natural products will deter moths, such as lavender and cedar but once you have moth activity, you will need a killer to deal with them. One natural product that is effective is diatomaceous earth however, this would not really be appropriate to apply to your clothing unless you could leave the clothes unused for around four weeks in order for the dust to have a good effect. It is messy but non-toxic to humans.
Let’s get down to business then.
Carrying Out a Treatment Against Clothes Moth
Initial whole room treatment.
There may be moth around in the room that is affected, not just in the clothes. A pre or post-treatment that can be effective at killing moths that may be hiding under the bed or behind the curtains is to use an insecticidal smoke to smoke fumigate the room Pro-Active Midi Smoke.
Open drawers and wardrobe doors, close windows, seal open fireplaces and turn off fire alarms, then place sufficient smoke canisters onto an upturned dinner plate in the centre of the room, light, and watch from the door to ensure the smoke canisters burn out totally without falling over, close the door and seal with masking tape. Re-open after four hours, and open windows to ventilate for 15 minutes, the room can then be used straight away.
Exosex/InsectracClothes Moth Pheromone tablets, attract the male Webbing Clothes Moths, which approach to mate with the tablet and in the process, pick up the female pheromone on their bodies, this disrupts their ability to locate a female moth and this, therefore, significantly reduces the number of eggs being produced by the moth. Males with the pheromone on them will also spread it to other males. They provide total confusion as to where the real female moths are!!
You Have Clothes Moth in Your Wardrobes and Drawers
Remove all the clothes, where possible freeze natural fibre clothes for 72 hours in polythene bags with as much air squeezed out as possible. We have suitable freezer bags that can be frozen, thawed and then used for long term protection of the clothes within. These bags come with a moth killer product for post freezing use but can be used, (sometimes less successfully) without the freezing procedure. You can use anti-moth sweater bags for this task and for future prevention.
Freezing the clothes kills all stages of clothes moth immediately, whereas if you do not freeze clothes, the damage being caused may continue for a couple of weeks before the moth killer strip takes full effect. You could schedule the freezing over a couple of weeks providing you keep pre-frozen items in the mothproof bags linked above until all the clothes have had the cold shoulder treatment!
So, you have emptied the drawers and wardrobe, separated out the natural fibre clothes and either frozen those or placed them in the anti-moth SWEATER BAGS with a moth killer sachet. You now need to treat the actual furniture in order that any moths venturing inside the furniture are be killed.
Remove all drawers and carefully vacuum or brush down both the drawers and the inside of the clothes storage cabinet, then apply Pro-Active C to all internal surfaces of the furniture, plus the rear outside panels if you can access them. Spray to “point of runoff” which is a term that essentially means, spray to the point that the liquid is about to start to run down the item, avoiding getting past the run point. A little practice will teach you how much to spray without the insecticide running off like the water on the walls of a shower!
Ongoing Moth Protection For the Drawers
After returning clothing to the drawers, place Rentokil Moth Killer Sheets or Acana Moth Killer Sachets into the drawers (1 x Rentokil Moth Killer Strip or 1 x Acana Clothes Moth Killer and Clothes Freshener sachet per single drawer). Place the strips/sachets at the front of the drawer and do not cover them with clothes.
Ongoing Clothes Moth Protection for the Wardrobes
We will assume you have sprayed the internal surfaces of the wardrobe. You can now hang either Rentokil Moth Killer Cassette or Acana Moth Killer and Clothes Freshener onto the clothes rail to create a moth free atmosphere within the wardrobe. Once these are installed you can return your clothing to the wardrobe. By spraying the furniture inside, you are ensuring that any moth hiding in cracks and crevices will be killed over the coming weeks, the hanging units will deter new moths from entering the wardrobe. Remember to replace these at 6 monthly intervals.
Clothes Moth Monitoring
To monitor your success, we have Clothes Moth Pheromone Traps. These come in packs of 10 and you can purchase a Demi-Diamond Pad Holder to assist in locating the traps around your property. Many of our customers use these moth traps as a control measure but they do not appear able to totally eradicate an existing moth problem as some customers have been buying clothes moth pheromone traps from us for over 5 years. These moth traps are useful to monitor whether or not new moths are entering your property. Most infestations begin from adult moths flying in through open windows in the summer months. If using Exosex/Insectrac, the sticky pheromones must not be within 2 meters of the tablets due to a conflict of pheromones.
Pack of Products
We have a pack of Webbing Clothes Moth Products prepared to make ordering simple, however, products may vary slightly from what is described above.