Clothing moths are the kind of pests that can drive you crazy. You can think you got them all and suddenly you see more moths in your closet or you see more damage being done to your belongings. Are you ready to be done with clothing moths? Here is some advice for getting rid of clothing moths once and for all.
Step 1: Identification
It is important that we make sure that the moths you're seeing in your closets are clothing moths. Clothing moths aren't the only moths that can get into your home, and they aren't the only pests that can damage your clothing. There are two moths that damage fabrics: The casemaking clothes moth and the webbing clothes moth. These two moth species can be identified by their visual characteristics and behavior.
Visual Identification — If the larvae of casemaking clothes moths are damaging your belongings, you'll notice small, sleeping bag-like cases on the fabric. These can help you identify this species of clothes moth. Both casemaking and webbing clothes moths have larvae that are pale-colored grubs. The larvae of casemaking clothes moths have a black patch on the head. Webbing clothing moth larvae have a brown patch on the head. You'll find these grubs attached to their food source. You may find them attached to a piece of clothing, upholstery, curtains, tapestries, or inside air ducts, where they can feed on lint or pet hair.
Behavioral Identification — Both adult clothes moths, as proper moths, can be seen skipping across floors and carpets. They can also be found in gaps, cracks, and crevices. This is because females get laden down by the eggs they carry and will eventually become flightless.
Step 2: Find The Source
Wool is a strong attractant for these insects. If you have anything in your home that is made of wool, these items should be closely examined first. This might be woolen caps, carpets, blankets, military uniforms, etc. If you find the source, isolate it in a sealed bag or put it outside of your home.
Step 3: Clean and Store
If you can't locate the source, you might be able to get control of a clothes moth infestation by systematically washing or dry cleaning the items in your closet or storage space and putting those items in sealed plastic totes or airtight garment bags. This is especially helpful for items that are not used routinely.
Step 4: Remove Dust
The larvae of these moths can live on a wide range of natural materials. They'll eat wool, linen, silk, cashmere, fur, feathers, lint, hair, and even dust. The food source that is often overlooked is dust. Routine vacuuming and the dusting of floors, surfaces, and the interior of drawers can remove this material.
Once you've gotten rid of clothing moths, you probably won't want to get another infestation after doing all that work to get rid of them. There are two primary ways these moths will get into your home:
They come in through an open door or window. Make sure all your screens are in good working condition, and leave exterior doors open as little as possible.
They can come into your home as larvae. This can happen when you bring items home from a consignment store, a thrift store, a second-hand store, or from someone's home when you buy something used. Check items carefully for little grubs and the cases that casemaking moths create.
If You Need Help
When clothes moths get into Pittsburgh homes, it is possible to get control of them with a systematic strategy of cleaning and proper storage. If this isn't working, or you can isolate the source of the infestation, pest control products may be required. These products should be selected and administered by licensed and experienced pest management professionals.
If you live in our Greater Pittsburgh service area, remember that Witt Pest Management is Pittsburgh's oldest and most advanced pest control provider. We help home and business owners resolve a wide range of pest problems, including the extermination of clothing moths. We offer same-day service, so contact us today for immediate assistance.