Are You Struggling With Clothes Moths In Spring?
How often have you gone into your closet to grab your favorite sweater or shirt only to discover that there are tiny holes in that article of clothing? Probably more times than you want. Upon making such discoveries, you’re forced to wonder how the damage happened. Little to your knowledge, the likely culprit is clothes moths.
Here in Spring, Texas, the most common species of clothing moths are webbing clothes moths. Though they’re not dangerous to humans, as they don’t sting, contaminate food, or bite, they are destructive to personal belongings. To be more specific, clothes moth larvae do the most damage to fabrics. The larvae feed on natural fabrics such as wool, feathers, and fur, including items like carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture. Adult clothes moths couldn’t feed on fabrics in your home no matter how much they tried, as they don’t even have the mouthparts to feed!
If you’ve discovered your clothes are being ruined seemingly out of nowhere, or if you suspect you may have a moth infestation, you’ll want to call the Spring pest control experts at Modern Pest Control before any further damage is done.
What Attracts Moths To Clothing?
It can be very puzzling to open your closet and see moths flying around or to discover holes in your clothes from moths; after all, it’s not like you placed a fabric buffet sign outside your home to entice moths. So how exactly are they getting in?
Typically, clothes moths enter homes by hiding in second-hand clothing, home goods, or furniture found in thrift stores or garage sales. This reason alone is why it’s so important to immediately wash or disinfect any second-hand item you bring inside your home to prevent infestations from happening.
Once clothes moths get inside your home, they can be tough to remove if left untreated for too long, and the damage to your personal property gets even worse.
One thing to note about clothes moths is that they have expensive taste. As much as you love your silk blouse or cashmere sweater, clothes moths love them. Due to these pests having such expensive taste (literally and figuratively), they’re notorious for causing hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars worth of damage to clothes.
The very thing that attracts moths to clothing is the animal fibers. Fabrics like silk and wool contain animal hairs and fibers, and clothes moth larvae love it. Anything made from synthetic or cotton fabrics is completely safe unless it contains a blend of animal fibers. So, if you know you have clothing or household items made from animal fibers, those items are at risk if clothes moths gain access inside your home.
Behavior-wise, these moths are attracted to dark, warm, and humid spaces, so you can expect to see them in closets and attics, and basements. This particular aspect about clothes moths is unique, if you really think about it, though.
Typical moths are attracted to light. When you leave your porch or patio lights on, there’s a swarm of moths around them. Additionally, these pests enjoy dirty clothes, especially with food stains or residue, and dirty clothes with lingering body oils.
Adult clothes moths choose closets because their larvae need keratin to develop. Keratin is a protein commonly found in hair, skin, and nails. This protein is also found in the natural fibers found in wool, silk, leather, and feathers. Adult clothes moths lay their eggs on these-keratin-rich proteins so that their babies will be nourished as they grow.
Larvae destroy your clothes by spinning small tunnels as they travel through to eat your clothes. These tunnels are known as feeding tunnels and are made from excrement and consuming fabric particles. This often makes the tunnels the same color as the clothes they’re feeding on.
Assessing A Moth Infestation
When it comes to determining whether you have a moth infestation or not, it’s important to properly identify not only the moths (if visibly present) and the situation at hand.
To properly identify a clothes moth, paying particular attention to its physical features is important. A webbing clothes moth is around one centimeter long and gold in body color with tiny red-brown hairs atop its head. It also has golden hairs that go along the perimeter of its wings.
What makes a moth infestation hard to determine is that other pests can enter your home and cause destruction to the same fibers that moths do. Carpet beetles and other species of beetle larvae feast on the same types of fabrics that contain animal fibers. However, the difference between the two is that moth larvae tend to leave behind a web on items that resemble dried snot (as gross as that may seem).
When assessing a potential moth infestation, the signs may not be as apparent, and that’s to be expected; after all, you’re not a pest professional. However, at Modern Pest Control, we are.
If you’re unsure if you may have a moth infestation in your home, give our team of experts a call. We’ll conduct a thorough inspection of your home to properly treat its unique needs, and in this case: clothes moths. However, it could be carpet beetles– that’s the whole point of an inspection, which is to address and properly identify the pest problem plaguing your property. To schedule your inspection, call today.
Four Simple Ways To Get Rid Of Moths
Getting rid of a moth infestation in your home isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do, especially on your own; however, removing these pests is nowhere near as troublesome as removing the likes of termites or cockroaches.
The typical lifecycle of a moth is four to six months. Adult female clothes moths can lay as many as 50 eggs within a three-week period. Though the female moth dies shortly after laying her eggs, the eggs are attached to the keratin-rich fibers of your clothes or other personal belongings by an adhesive film secreted by the female moths. The warmer summer months are ideal for the eggs, allowing them to hatch within ten days. Of course, the more larvae you have attached to fabrics with animal fibers, the bigger the damage will be to your belongings. Once the larvae enter the pupation stage and morph into an adult, they too will lay their own eggs and start an entirely new moth lifecycle.
Without even knowing, this type of lifecycle could be happening in your own bedroom closet, wreaking havoc on some of your most lavish articles of clothing. Suppose you notice holes or web substances on your clothes; clothes moths are likely infesting your closet. Fortunately, you can do a few things to get these moths out of your home:
Get Rid Of Severely Infested Clothes: In many cases, the clothes that clothes moths damage are the clothes you really love. However, when those particular pieces of clothing are severely damaged, you have to go ahead and get rid of those clothes. By getting rid of those clothes, you’re essentially getting rid of one of the sources of your moth infestation.
Thoroughly Clean Your Clothes: Taking every article of clothing in your closet to the dry cleaner can be very expensive; however, it’s the most effective way to remove an infestation on your own. If nothing else, take the clothes made from the materials moths like (wool, silk, cashmere, and more) to the dry cleaners. If this is a bit out of your budget, you can also wash your clothes at a very high temperature; make sure it’s over 120°F. If you choose this option, you also want to read the label of your clothes so as not to ruin them this way. Certain wools will feel or shrink at high temperatures.
Thoroughly Clean Your Closet: You may clean your home regularly, but how often do you actually clean your closet? You’ll want to go through an overhaul and completely remove everything in your closet and vacuum the floors and properly dispose of the vacuumed contents, whether it’s a vacuum bag or dumping the contents from the attached vacuum container. Using a carpet steamer will also help get rid of moth larvae.
Properly Store Your Clothes: Whether short-term or seasonal, the clothes you no longer wear at the present moment need to be stored in airtight storage containers with locking lids or vacuum-sealed bags. This will eliminate food sources for moth larvae. These storage methods will also keep condensation out, preventing mold and mildew.
Of course, you can always use mothballs; however, you have to be very careful with them, and they should honestly be used as a last resort. If you don’t use enough mothballs, it won’t be enough to kill the larvae. However, if you use too much, the fumes can make you sick. If you’re going to go this route, you need to follow the guidelines.
Professional services are the best route for safe and effective moth removal. At Modern Pest Control, we have the services you need to remove such destructive pests. Call our team of pest experts today.
Professional Moth Control Services For Spring Residents
Though clothes moths are widespread in Spring, that doesn’t mean they should be common in your home. These pests are nuisances, but they can damage your personal belongings, including your clothes, furniture, and drapes. Once clothes moths enter your home, your top priority should be to get rid of them.
Acting with a sense of urgency is key here, as clothes moths have a reproduction rate that can quickly get out of control if left untreated for too long. The good news is that there are removal and prevention methods you can do on your own that prove to be effective. However, if removal isn’t done right, you’ll continue to have a moth infestation in your home.
At Modern Pest Control, we’ve been in the pest control industry for 70 years, utilizing the latest home pest control and commercial pest control strategies and methods to remove any size or specific pest (which is how we earned the name ‘modern’).
Our technicians are very experienced with the pests of Spring and receive extensive, ongoing training to ensure they are up-to-date on the latest breakthroughs within the industry. As a team, we also pride ourselves on educating customers on their pest issues and prevention techniques, answering all questions ranging from dangers associated with specific pests to what’s attracting pests to your property.
Now you know exactly what attracts clothes moths to your home and why their larvae eat holes in your clothes. You also know ways to get rid of them and prevent them. However, you want to keep in mind that other critters can make their way inside your home and feast on the same things as clothes moths, such as certain beetles and other nuisance pests. Be sure to ask your technicians about any concerns you may have so that they can provide you with the proper course of action to help you keep those moths out and restore peace to your home.
For relief from clothes moths, you want to go with a company that has deep Spring roots, and Modern Pest Control is exactly that. Whether these pests are invading your home or business, you can count on us, the professionals, and the Modern Pest Control approach. Give our team of certified professionals a call today!