The last thing any Pittsburgher needs is holes in their clothes, especially during the chill of winter. Clothes moths, which come alive in the cold months to make babies and nest in closets and drapes, are the prime culprit of the damage you may find. While they don’t bite humans (moths have mouths that aren’t properly shaped for biting) they can do serious damage to linens and clothing. This can be particularly upsetting when dealing with antiques and family heirlooms, such as ornamental rugs or Great-Grandmother’s favorite curtains she brought from Europe.
What do clothes moths look like?
The most common type of clothing moth is the webbing clothes moth. It is typically less than an inch in length, with amber or brown coloring and golden, gingery hairs along its wings. Unlike other varieties of moths, they aren’t very good at flying and aren’t attracted to light. That means they hide in the shadows. These moths only flutter in short bursts and it’s not uncommon to find them crawling rather than flying.
Where do they come from?
Moths can enter homes in many different ways. Because they like dark places, they sometimes hide in storage containers or food boxes and then are carried in from the store. They can also squeeze their way through cracks in floors and foundations, or through holes in window screens.
Moths in the larvae stage spend all their time eating and gathering sustenance. These moth babies, the cream-colored, silken larvae, are the ones that damage fabrics and clothes. These ravenous little creatures chew through fibers, eating many times their weight in a week. Then, like butterflies, they weave cocoons which they stay in for weeks before emerging as full-grown moths.
Moth mothers typically leave their larvae in places with a ready food supply: closets, dressers, within the folds of curtains, or underneath items that rest upon rugs and carpets.
What do they eat?
Larvae are attracted to animal fibers like wool and fur, but they can chew through just about any kind of fabric or cloth. They are attracted to the animal smells we leave traces of on our clothing, like sweat and hairs that fall off onto sweaters and jackets.
What can you do?
The best method for keeping clothes moths out of your home is prevention. Keep clothing storage areas clean and clutter-free so as not to be attractive for moths to deposit their young there. Frequently sweeping and vacuuming floors and rugs is another good way to curb the build-up of material that attracts moths.
Let us help!
If the moths are already in your Pittsburgh home, the most effective (and often cheapest) solution is to call the experts. We can do thorough and proper inspections that will root out all the places where moths and their larvae hide. Using modern and safe elimination techniques, we’ll not only get rid of the problem but help prevent future infestations as well.
Contact Witt Pest Management today and let us assist you with eradicating these pests before they do irreversible damage to your wardrobe and furniture.