Moths can cause a great deal of damage to clothes, the larvae that hatch from their eggs love to feed on expensive materials such as cashmere, wool and fur, so the better the quality of clothing, the higher the risk. With UK Google searches for ‘how to get rid of moths’ seeing an increase year-on-year, it’s certainly becoming an increasingly pesky pest for UK households. There is a wealth of options when it comes to dealing with moths. As well as preventing these winged pests, dealing with them humanely is another important factor to consider when protecting homes this spring.
Sophie Thorogood, from the technical team at eco-friendly pest control brand Green Protect, has shared the following top four tips for preventing moths from causing a nuisance in homes during “peak infestation season”.
1. Practice good housekeeping
According to the expert, there’s a strong correlation between damage by the clothes moth and clothing stained with sweat and food. Households should watch out for the larvae’s webs on the material and ensure that they practice good housekeeping.
For example, vacuuming where clothes are regularly stored and washing infested clothes at a temperature of at least 50 degrees will help remove clothes moths. Consider ironing too to guarantee moth-eaten-free clothes.
For those who are unable to wash their clothing at this temperature, they can do the opposite and freeze the infested item, as this “will cause irreversible damage to a moth’s cells and kill them”.
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Another tip to protect clothing is to place them in airtight containers and if households buy second-hand clothing, double check for any moth infestation as this also may introduce them into the home.
2. Store food properly
Storage jars are great for keeping foods fresher for longer. However, a variety of insects and bugs such as weevil and flour moths can still find their way into them.
Sophie suggested: “One way to prevent this is to ensure that new products are not poured on top of old as this can cause insect pest infestation.
“Dried foods can have a long shelf life and it is easy to keep them longer than you should, which can also lead to infestations.
“Ensure jars are labelled with dates to track the life of the contents and make sure you replace food when it expires.”
3. Make homemade remedies
To get rid of these pests, the expert recommended households even try to do their own DIY prevention measures, and “organic deterrents are one of the best solutions” for getting rid of moths.
Sophie claimed that with their natural substances, they act as a “fantastic” preventative method.
She noted that herbs like rosemary, lavender and bay leaves “repel moths”, and the oil from these can also be sprayed on contaminated areas.
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For those attempting to use one of the previously mentioned herbs as a mild repellent, make sure to refresh the scent from time to time.
This can be done by pinching the herbs and gently crushing it to release more scent, replacing it or spraying the essential oil.
Just be careful as essential oils can damage clothing and cause skin irritation and other problems when not used or stored properly.
4. Use deterrents
Trapping moths is another preventative method to ensure households are alerted early that there could be a pest problem.
The expert said: “Using pheromone lures are a good way of trapping adult male moths as they perceive the signal as a female and therefor enter the trap with the aim of breeding.”
Trapping the male will help in suppressing the population as the male may not get the chance to breed.
Sophie said: “The Green Protect Codling Moth Trap, Plum Moth Trap and Cedarwood Moth Rings offer an easy and eco-friendly solution.
“The moth rings are pesticide-free and cedarwood which are discreetly designed to be used on coat hangers and in drawers and shoes, keeping moths at bay for up to six months.”