Have you noticed holes appearing as if by magic on your clothes? If so, you’re probably dealing with a moth infestation. These tiny insects can go unnoticed when they invade your home. Find out how to identify them and how to get rid of them effectively.
How do you recognise clothes moths?
Clothes moths are known as Tineola Bisselliella. They are between 9 and 16 mm in size. Their bodies have a tapered, golden appearance. Their eggs are laid on natural fibres. They are less than a millimetre long, making them difficult to see. Once hatched, the larvae feed on textiles. Wool, silk, feathers and fur are the fibres most targeted by moths.
Adult moths are relatively harmless. It is the larvae that are the most harmful. Eradicating the adults prevents them from reproducing.
How do we recognise the presence of clothes moths in our home?
It can be difficult to detect the presence of clothes moths in the home. Their small size makes them almost undetectable. The most revealing clues are usually holes in clothing. Carpets and textile furniture are also attacked.
Moths also leave fine webs behind. If you see delicate silky threads, this may indicate the presence of these insects. The larvae also leave small excrement that looks like ordinary dust.
There are other signs of the presence of moths in your home. When the larvae become adults, they moult in cocoons. These are made of fine silky threads. They tend to spread over clothing. Adult moths develop wings and can fly. If you see insects flying around inside the house, they may be moths.
How do clothes moths get into our homes?
Clothes moths can enter the home in several ways. They find favourable escape routes through ventilation ducts, by climbing up walls or from attic vents. These areas are rarely cleaned. As a result, they can move around easily.
Open doors and windows are also an easy way for moths to enter your home. Last but not least, buying second-hand clothes and furniture is a good way of attracting moths. Second-hand clothes from garage sales can already contain a few moths. It takes less than a dozen to reproduce quickly and invade your entire home.
A number of conditions can encourage moths to settle in your home:
- An ambient temperature of around 25°C is conducive to their development;
- Cupboards, wardrobes and drawers provide a dark environment with clothes within easy reach;
- Dirty clothes can also encourage their development. Sweat and food residues on clothes can attract them.
Ironing and freezing, simple techniques for getting rid of moths
Moths can be eliminated using heat and cold. When you notice moths on your clothes, these two methods are effective, so you don’t have to use harsh chemicals.
If you opt for heat, simply iron your clothes. The intense heat of the iron destroys the eggs and larvae nestling in the textile fibres. Choose the temperature limit supported by the garment to be sure of killing the moths.
If you prefer freezing, you can proceed as follows. Place your infested clothes in an airtight plastic bag. Then put it in the freezer for at least 48 hours. The extreme cold interrupts the life cycle of the larvae and eggs. This prevents them from continuing to develop.
Use natural repellents
To prevent or eliminate the invasion of moths in your cupboard, you can use natural solutions.
Cedar wood is particularly effective against moths. Its powerful essence acts as a powerful repellent. You can find cedarwood-based moth traps in a variety of forms. Hangers, perforated pellets to place on clothes hangers, or blocks and beads to scatter directly among your clothes are all available.
Cloves are also a formidable ally. Place them in small bowls or make scented sachets by wrapping them in handkerchiefs. You can even insert cloves into an orange to create a natural and attractive repellent. Just be sure to replace the cloves or orange when their scent begins to fade.
Lemongrass can be used in the form of dried stalks scattered in cupboards. You can also use essential oil poured onto porous pebbles. Its repellent properties make it an excellent moth deterrent.
Marseille soap is known for its insect-repellent properties. It can be used in several ways. Lightly rub your clothes with it before putting them away, or add it to your washing powder. That way, you’ll benefit from its protective effect against moths.
Pheromone traps to eliminate invasions in wardrobes and cupboards
Pheromone traps trap male moths. This will rapidly reduce the population. To do this, pheromones are scattered on sticky surfaces. The moths are attracted to them and stick to them. As a result, they will be unable to reproduce.
This solution makes it possible to reduce an infestation overall. However, it must be combined with other methods to eradicate the problem completely and quickly. It takes some time before you notice a reduction in the number of moths. What’s more, moths on clothing need to be removed quickly.
At Solution Cimex, we help you eradicate unwanted pests
We offer you our services and solutions to eliminate the pests that invade your spaces. Our services are available in Montreal, Montérégie and the Eastern Townships. We work quickly, discreetly and efficiently. We also use innovative methods for optimal results. We are certified by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec. We are committed to using only approved products.