What You Need to Know Clothes Moths – Did you know there is a type of moth called a clothes moth? That’s right. This pest can destroy fabric and other materials; they feed on animal fibers and have a particular love of wool, fur, silk, felt, and leather. 

What is so delicious about these fabrics, or do they just have an expensive taste? The fact is, these fabrics contain keratin. Keratin is a fibrous protein that the larvae of the clothes moths can digest. So if you buy synthetic materials, you won’t run into many clothes moth issues – unless you have a particularly messy kid leaving food stains all over their clothes. 

If you’re not aware, these pests can cause irreparable harm to your clothes and rugs. And before you know it, it’s too late to take control, and your expensive clothes and carpets are damaged. Another reason clothes moths damage can go unnoticed for so long is that you hardly ever see them. These pests prefer dark and undisturbed places like a closet or attic. 

Moth season lasts from May until October, so perhaps it’s time you took a look around your house and closets for any evidence that a clothes moth infestation is likely. This article looks at possible signs that you may have these pests, and how to avoid and how to get rid of clothes moths

Signs You Have Moths in the House

Because clothes moths seek out dark and undisturbed places, they can go unnoticed for far too long. Here are some signs that you may, in fact, have an infestation on your hands.

  • Tunnels found on your wool items like clothes and rugs
  • Your furs show signs of shedding
  • Patchy damage to rugs or carpets, especially those in darker areas of your home
  • Moth larvae casings hanging off materials 
  • Crusty accumulations on fabrics and rugs that are the same color as the fabric
  • Finding moths in the house, you’ll find them in your unfrequented storage or wardrobe areas

What to Know About Clothes Moths

Clothes moths are not to be confused with the more common brown house moth you find at home, with bronze, black-flecked wings. There are two everyday clothes moths, the webbing clothes moth, and the casemaking clothes moth. They are slightly smaller than the brown house moth and have paler beige wings. 

The only difference between these two clothes moths is the evidence they leave behind. The larvae of a casemaking clothes moth create a fibrous tube that clings to the material it’s eating. The moths will lay eggs in your home, and it’s this larva that hatches from their eggs that will wreak havoc on your wardrobe. 

The eggs hatch in about 4-10 days in the summer and 3-4 weeks in the winter. When they hatch, they go looking for delicious wool cardigans and silk shirts to start feeding on. The larvae then eat as much as they can through your natural fabrics until they transform into moths. They then mate, and the cycle begins all over again. 

There’s more bad news. Larvae and pupa of clothes moths can survive for months without food, and this is why it can be challenging to get rid of them. Their life cycle usually takes four to six months, but it is possible for them to stay in the larvae stage for more than two years.

How to Ensure You Never End Up with a Clothes Moth Problem

  • Keep it clean: To avoid clothes moths in carpets and rugs – particularly in the darker, quieter areas of your homes – make sure to keep food spills cleaned up. Vacuuming frequently will go a long way in keeping these pests away by removing eggs and larvae before they can hatch. And, where you can, keep your curtains open and have the sun shining in all areas of your home. 
  • Wash then store: If you pack away your seasonal items, make sure to wash or dry-clean your clothes. This will rid the articles of any lingering food spills, perspiration, and pest eggs too. And make a note to bring out your stored items and brush them once or twice during their time in storage. This way, you will be able to look for evidence of possible infestation and brush off any eggs you can’t see. 
  • Storage practices: Perhaps it’s time to consider using resealable plastic bags or boxes for storing your favorite or expensive items? And add some cedar balls too. Remember, these need to be refreshed to reactivate their scent. So each season, haul them out and sandpaper them. 

How to Get Rid of Clothes Moths

First off, remove and treat all infested material that makes sense to keep and then send them to be dry-cleaned or launder them yourself. You can buy a spray made for these pests for issues with your carpets. Get to work cleaning areas along the baseboards and behind cabinets. Don’t forget to treat both sides of the carpets. For a more severe infestation, it’s best to call professionals to help you treat your carpets and get rid of all pests and their eggs. 

How We Can Help

Nobody is more knowledgeable about how to get rid of clothes moths than Pest Control Unlimited LLC. Providing exceptional services is what Pest Control Unlimited is all about. All that we do is customized to your home. Moths in the house? No problem, we listen to your concerns, study the situation carefully, and create a customized pest control approach. Our technicians regularly attend classes and seminars, learning the latest safe pest control methods and practices. We’re passionate about serving you. And will do so with all the necessary COVID precautions in place. Whenever you need help, we’re only a phone call away at 888-649-9919. Contact us today and begin your residential pest services.