If you are decluttering your wardrobe and changing over clothes for the next season, keep a look out for clothes moths and if you find any signs, take action straight away!

What are the signs of clothes moths?

Irregular holes in clothes

It is actually the larvae (that grow into moths) that like to eat any natural fibres and not just the more expensive ones such as wool and silk.   The first sign you may have moths is when you start to notice small holes appearing in clothing.

Bald patches on rugs & carpets

They can also eat fibres in rugs and carpets so you may also notice these having “bald patches”

You see them flying about

Moth season in the UK generally lasts from May until October so you may see them flying around or crawling on clothing, walls or furniture.  If you open a wardrobe or drawer that hasn’t been touched in a while, you may disturb them.  Contrary to popular belief, moths aren’t just drawn to light. In fact, they will seek out dark, undisturbed places to lay their eggs  The common clothes moth is approximately 6-7mm long with pale, beige wings.  Their larvae is creamy white with a brown head.

How can you get rid of moths?

One of the most important things to eradicate moths is to break their life cycle which means getting rid of unhatched eggs and larvae.

Vacuum areas where you have discovered moths

Remove clothes from cupboards & drawers and vacuum thoroughly in the corners and along the edges. Vacuum carpets throughout the house thoroughly including areas of carpet underneath furniture. Treat any areas where you’ve seen adult moths using a moth killer spray.  Don’t forget to dispose of the vacuum contents securely to prevent re-infection.

Wipe down areas with a white vinegar solution

Moth larvae don’t like the acidic nature of vinegar. Make up a solution of equal-parts white vinegar and water and spray onto floors, counters and the insides of drawers and cupboards with the solution.

Wash or dry clean clothes

Wash clothes at the highest temperature recommended on the label.  Take any items to the dry cleaners that can only be dry cleaned.  (Don’t forget to tell the dry cleaners that you suspect moths so they can protect other clothing)

If you have items that cannot be washed, for example shoes, these can be wrapped in plastic and put into the freezer for at least 72 hours; cold temperatures will kill moth larvae.  Don’t forget to brush or shake off any suspected eggs once out of the freezer.

How can you prevent clothes moths?

Wash garments before putting them away

Clothes moths are attracted to perspiration and food stains so it is very important to remove these before storing clothes away for long periods.

Keep wardrobes well ventilated.

Air wardrobes regularly to prevent warm, damp or musty conditions building up, which clothes moths love.

Store clothes away carefully.

Store freshly laundered clothes you won’t be wearing until next season in a vacuum storage bag/zipped bag or sealed plastic box.  Clothes need to be protected in something that cannot be eaten by moths.

Use moth repellents.

Cedar wood rings, bags of lavender or moth killer hangers can be used in wardrobes or drawers to help deter moths.

Check clothes carefully if bringing in non-new items into the home

Be vigilant if buying clothes from charity shops or from on-line selling sites.  You do not know what other items they have been stored with.

If you would like help in decluttering your wardrobe, please do get in touch to book your free consultation. https://flamingoorganising.com/contact-sarah-owen/

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash