Attics and closets across North America can be invaded by two common types of moths who can terrorize homeowners' wool, fur, feathered and felt clothing. These pests - case-making and webbing moths - like to avoid the light and hide in people's clothing, causing serious damage to clothes as well as rugs and carpets.
People who discover clothes moths in their home will likely want to turn to pest management services to eradicate the problem and create a prevention plan to eliminate future risks. But, before you can call in pest control to come to the rescue, make sure you know how to spot a moth infestation.
Look for silk tubes
Of course, holes in your sweaters or clothing are the most famous tell-tale signs of clothes moths, but silk tubes can also be a warning of future damage. These silk tubes can be found in covered dark areas, like under the collars of shirts.
Holes and material damage are also warning signs, but may not always be obvious. Fabric damage is usually in hidden areas like the collar or cuffs. With furniture or carpet, the holes are commonly found in crevices and folds.
Webbing clothes moths can be more damaging than case-making moths and are commonly found throughout North America. Webbing moths are about 1/2 inch wing to wing and have a gold wing hue. Although the moth stage may be the easiest to identify, most of their damage is done to clothing during their larval stage, before they can fly.
People commonly confuse clothes moths with food and grain moths. These insects may also require a call to pest control services, but are unlikely to cause serious damage to your clothing or upholstery.
Prevent moths from establishing themselves
The best defense against moths is thorough cleaning. Vacuuming your rugs, carpets and upholstered furniture regularly will destroy any moth eggs and prevent them from developing into damaging larvae. This goes for tapestries, delicate fabric artwork and hanging rugs as well, although care should be taken while cleaning these.
For stored clothing and rugs, cleaning can also help. By cleaning, people will destroy any eggs in these areas as well. As added protection, people should store clothing, especially wool and other vulnerable fabrics, in securely sealed containers.
If you do encounter an infestation, call a residential pest control agency to eliminate the issue and add preventative measures to repel these pests from settling in your attic, closet or furniture.