October is ‘Moth Month’: How to Protect Your Clothes

Experts in pest control warn us that October is the worst month for infestation by moths, and this year the problem could be worse than ever. Although moth infestations are frequently discovered in October, the destructive larvae can live happily in your home undiscovered, chewing at the fabric of your clothes until you decide it is time to look out your winter wardrobe.


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Why are moths causing more damage now than ever before?

There are various reasons for the increase in call outs to pest controllers. We generally keep our houses warmer than previous generations did, providing a comfortable environment for moths to breed. Cleaning is not what it was in our grandparents’ day despite all the modern technology available to us, and moth larvae enjoy feasting on protein rich dirt and grime.

Imports of fabrics and carpets infested by moths have increased due to the popularity of package holidays, and the availability of more natural fibres such as cashmere on the High Street means that there is plenty of food for moths.

Some extremely effective pesticides that were formerly used have been withdrawn due to safety concerns and been replaced with chemicals that are much weaker.

According to The Sun moths are costing the government a vast amount because of the damage they are causing to the parliamentary art collection in the House of Commons, on top of the figure spent on nuisance bird management and rodent control.

How to protect your clothes

Ensure that all areas of your home are deep cleaned every two months. Carpets are a favourite breeding ground for moths, so ensure they are thoroughly vacuumed.

If you suspect a moth infestation, wash everything washable, dry clean garments that cannot be washed and place items such as leather jackets in the freezer for a minimum of 72 hours to kill the eggs and moths. Some people advocate microwaving garments for two or three minutes.

Clean the insides of drawers and wardrobes thoroughly before replacing clothes and keep moths away by using natural deterrents such as lavender, cloves or cinnamon sticks.

If this fails, contact a member of the British Pest Control Association such as http://www.vvenv.co.uk/ for advice.

Moth infestations can be a real problem, so keep a regular eye on all your fabrics so you notice any damage immediately.