How To Keep Moths Out Of Your House
Moths can be a pretty enough sight when seen fluttering around outdoor porch lights, but once they make their way indoors it’s a different story. Green Home Pest Control can help. If you notice moths flying around your house in plain view, chances are they probably aren’t clothes moths. Clothes moths don’t like any kind of light and will rarely be seen outside of dark spaces. A common misconception is that adult moths are responsible for damage to your clothing, when in fact, it’s the larvae of the moths. The insects prefer to lay their eggs in dark, closed-off spaces with plenty of food–your clothing, that is–to chew away at. Wool, silk, fur, down, and cashmere are all fair game to the clothes moth, along with pet dander and any animal-based materials.
Larvae generally emerge within several weeks and can feed on your fabrics for a year or longer. The damage is usually detectable after mere months, and you may find additional remnants of larvae cocoons. Because clothing moths typically avoid bright light, they rarely feed on clothing that is frequently pulled out of the closet and worn on a regular basis, instead preferring clothing that has been boxed up or packed away for a while.
Your best bet forwarding of destructive moths is to keep your household, particularly closet spaces, meticulously clean. Routine vacuuming will remove stray moth eggs before they get a chance to hatch, while dusting eliminates debris and dander for them to feed on.
There are several moth deterrent options, each with their own set of pros and cons. Red cedar is a popular choice, as it contains natural oils that eliminate moth larvae. However, it will only destroy young larvae, not the eggs or older moths themselves.
Mothballs and moth crystals are also frequently used, and while they can be quite effective it’s important to note that they contain pesticides that may do more harm than good in the long run. Because mothballs and moth crystals release a fumigant gas to kill moths and larvae while further deterring future pests, they are best used in closed containers rather than open closets. Furthermore, mothball and moth crystal odors can be overpowering, and hard to wash out of clothing.
Lavender is an age-old remedy for keeping moths at bay. Sachets filled with lavender and lavender essential oil can be hung in closets and tucked into drawers where moths may nest. This pleasant smelling repellent won’t kill existing moths and larvae though, so it’s important to make sure all spaces are already free of the pests before using this method.
When storing away coats and clothing for the season, thoroughly wash or dry-clean all items prior to packing. This will rid your garments of moth eggs, as well as food debris that could attract new pests. Keep in mind that moths can find their way into extremely tight, seemingly protected spaces, so opt for resealable plastic bags and plastic boxes when storing garments. (If you’re concerned about condensation, wrap items in cotton beforehand.)
If moth infestation becomes too severe, it may be time to call in a professional pest control service such as Green Home Pest Control. While many extermination specialists employ cheap, toxic chemicals that put your family’s health at risk, all of our products are 100% organic and safe for your entire household. We target the subtle, hard-to-find areas where pests can hide out and breed, and apply botanical methods that will rid your space of moths and their larvae without damaging your garments. Our certified technicians are efficient and trustworthy, with ongoing training to guarantee only the best in performance.