As winter approaches and people dig out their winter woollies only to find them looking like a piece of Swiss cheese, experts are advising people to freeze their clothes next summer!

Moths that Munch

Moths that munch through our wardrobes, known as the common clothes moth, like nothing more than wool and other natural fibres, such as sheepskin, fur and tweed. They also have good taste and a penchant for high quality. Jo Greaves of St Albans went to find her favourite £150 cashmere jumper, only to discover that moths had made feast of it, munching through the fabric in various places, creating a series of holes.

This story is becoming more and more prevalent as moths sweep across the UK, infesting more houses than ever before. Experts are attributing this increase to the hot and humid summer we have experienced this year, where temperatures hit 34 degrees in September, the highest since 1911. These conditions have provided the perfect breeding ground for moths.

Although we are more accustomed to moths that are attracted to light, the common clothes moth in fact prefers dark, warm habitats, hence the reason that they infest wardrobes and chest of drawers.

Once they have found their cosy corner in your London property, the moths lay eggs that hatch into larvae 4 to 21 days later. The larvae then begin munching on your favourite fabrics.

Not sticking solely to clothes, moth larvae will also turn to natural fibre insulation, stored carpets, bird feathers and the felt inside pianos.

How to Prevent Moths in Your Home

If this story is ringing all too true for you after you have discovered your favourite winter warmers speckled with holes, there are steps you can take to prevent another moth infestation in your London home next year.

The main suggestion is to wash or dry clean your clothes, and then freeze them! No moth will want to set up home in sub-zero temperatures! However, if you don’t fancy putting your favourite fur coat in the freezer, turning clothes stored in wardrobes and drawers at least once a month may be enough to deter moth attacks, given that they do not like disturbance and light.

Other helpful tips include:

  • Regular vacuuming to catch any moths and larvae that may be present.
  • Keeping cloths clean, as moths like to feast on dirt and grime.
  • Store clothes in heavy-duty plastic vacuum packs.
  • Collect conkers and put them in between your clothes. As they dry out they omit a gas that acts as a mild insecticide against moths and larvae.
  • Cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves may make your wardrobe smell like your pantry, but they will also help fight against those munching moths.

Author: This article was written by Dean Mannion, Senior Pest Control Technician for Top Dog Pest Control. Top Dog London Pest Control provides London insect control services

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