Clothes Moth

clothes mothNothing ruins that potential interview or special event quicker than pulling out your favorite suit or black dress to find it has been chewed through by clothes moth caterpillars. With a taste for clothes and a preference for the darkness, clothes moth is the bane of every wardrobe and walk-in-closet. With a taste for cloth and a preference for darkness,  The adult clothes moth does not actually feed on anything, however it’s caterpillars have voracious appetites.

Clothes Moth Caterpillar
Clothes Moth Caterpillar

The female clothes moth can lay up to two hundred eggs, and these eggs hatch in around a week. The larvae then begin feeding right away, and they can be incredibly difficult to spot until they grow in size. They will feed on any natural fibre or clothing, and have also been found on some dry food stuffs. Dirty clothing is especially appetizing to them, especially clothes that have moisture from spills or sweat as this allows them to hydrate.

Clothes Moth Facts:

  • Adults
    • ~ ¼ inch long with ½ inch wingspan
    • dull gold and white color
    • poor flyers
    • prefer the dark
  • Caterpillars
    • milky white
    • brownish head
    • small, ~¼ inch long
    • prefer the dark
    • feed on natural fibres

Preventing Clothes Moths

There are a number of steps you can take to prevent clothes moth infestations. The first is to make sure you clean your hanging clothes–and look through them–regularly. Dry cleaning and traditional washing & drying (high heat) will kill moths and caterpillars, and this will also remove dirt and moisture from the clothes that might make them more appetizing to clothes moth caterpillars.

While you may be able to purchase mothproofing chemicals and mothballs, we advise against their use; both are toxic and highly flammable. Instead, use a clothes moth trap in the closet. This will lure and capture moths, both getting rid of them and alerting you to any potential issues. Some natural deterrents exist, such as camphor or cedar oil, but keep in mind these only work for as long as they retain their strong vapor/aroma. This also holds true for those with cedar wood closets: while they will deter / kill clothes moth for the short term, they will lose their essential oils over time and become ineffective.

Getting Rid of Clothes Moth Infestations

Should you suffer a clothes moth infestation, there are a number of clothes moth control strategies that can be employed. The first step should always be to do a thorough inspection of the suspected infested closet (or area). After identifying the source, remove and launder all clothes. After this is done, using a low-impact insecticide for one to three months in the closet is a good way to insure all eggs are gone and the infestation is neutralized. Many over the counter pesticides can do the trick, however we alway recommend consulting a pest management professional.

Clothes Moth Control Plans

Bain Pest Control Service offers individualized clothes moth control plans that guarantee elimination. We’ll provide a full pest inspection, identify environmental factors that may be contributing to the infestation, treat affected areas with a low-impact, effective insecticide, and set-up clothes moth traps / monitors to ensure the infestation is taken eliminated. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you take back your closet and save your wardrobe!

Contact us today: call 800.272.3661 or fill out an online request form for a free consultation.

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