In times gone by, everyone used to spring clean their homes. It was a way to throw open doors and windows to air out the property after months of fires lit to heat the home. Nowadays, most of us have cleaner fires that don’t cause the same problems, or we resort to central heating instead. While some people still spring clean, numbers have fallen significantly compared with decades ago. This means any moths are likely to go unnoticed in our homes… enabling them to do plenty of damage in the process.
It turns out washing our clothes at lower temperatures might also be to blame. Many people now wash at 30 degrees Celsius instead of at the higher temperatures they washed at in the past. Tests have indicated a wash of 60 degrees Celsius is required to kill moth larvae embedded in clothes. They will die at around five degrees under that wash temperature.
Can we prevent moths from causing havoc in our homes?
There are things we can do to limit the problem. For example, natural fibres are great for moth larvae, who are happy to munch through them. Jumpers are the most common items to be damaged, particularly if they are made from wool. No one wants to open their drawers and find their favourite jumper has been eaten to bits. However, any natural item – including carpets and curtains, which cost far more to replace – can be affected.
The best way to minimise the chance of being affected by clothes moths is to use deterrents. Make sure you clean out and vacuum your drawers and cupboards regularly to get rid of any eggs. Vacuum carpets and curtains too. Do this regularly to get rid of those eggs and larvae. If you do spot signs of moths or larvae, wash everything on a hotter wash as described above.
If you have woolly jumpers you do not wear for several months of the year, purchase some sealable bags or containers to store them in when not in use. This will keep them out of range of the moths and their larvae.
If you find you have a problem with clothing moths and you cannot resolve the infestation, make sure you call in the pest control experts. They can assess the problem and make sure appropriate treatments are used to eradicate the issue.