As the weather gets warmer, look out for moth damage

14 Apr

While most of us welcome the warmer spring days, the rise in temperatures brings unwelcome visitors to our homes and businesses – the moth.

As the days get warmer, we pack away our winter woollies and our wardrobes become the focus of attack by these harmless looking insects. At Abate we regularly see an increase in the number of call outs we receive to deal with moth problems at this time of year.

Moths can get into properties via infested items such as carpets, rugs, second-hand furniture and clothing.  They may also migrate from birds’ nests in the roof space where they can feed on feathers.

Carpet beetle pest control

The Common and Case-Bearing Clothes Moth are the two main species likely to be found infesting domestic dwellings in the UK.  Tapestry Moth are occasionally encountered – usually in cooler, older buildings with a higher humidity level.  But it’s not the moths that are responsible for causing the damage, but the larvae.

It can be very difficult to pinpoint the source of an infestation due to their elusive nature. Moths prefer warm, dark conditions such as in drawers, cupboards and under furniture. Anything made from natural textiles is at risk. Clothes Moth have been found breeding on the hammer felts in pianos!

The female Clothes Moth lays 40-50 eggs over 2-3 weeks. These then hatch in 4-10 days. By the time you see the adult moths flying around it may be too late to stop an infestation.

Moths produce irregular holes in garments while the Case-bearing Clothes Moth produces a more regular hole pattern.

Control methods

Areas that are not regularly accessed by the vacuum cleaner are the most likely places to harbour moth larvae.

Drawers and cupboards should be checked and cleaned. Also check the underside of furniture as larvae sometimes pupate on these surfaces. Furs and stuffed animals are also vulnerable to attack.  Deep cleaning should be carried out in infested rooms, paying particular attention to wall/floor junctions, carpet edges and soft furnishings.  Any infested clothing should be washed on as hot a temperature as possible to kill eggs and larvae.  Alternatively, any small items not suitable for washing / dry cleaning can be placed in an air-tight bag and stored in a freezer for 3 days to kill all life stages.

Any infested areas should be sprayed with insecticide although bear in mind that eggs and pupae are difficult to kill and a repeat treatment may be necessary.  Abate do not recommend the use of moth balls containing paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene as there is evidence to suggest these may be toxic to young children.

If you have a problem with moths and would like further information, please call us for free on 0800 980 9609 or call 01953 603390.  You can find all our moth pest control products available to purchase in our online shop at

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