How to prevent or get rid of clothes moths with simple cleaning tips.
Why are moths in my wardrobe?
Sadly for us, moths have very good taste and so love hiding out in our finest cashmeres and vintage woollens. As these get packed away in dark, tight spaces (which moths also love) over the summer months, these insects contentedly clamber into our closet, breeding larvae all over our clothes. It’s this larvae which then chew through our fabrics, leaving cobweb-like trails and nibbled holes throughout our wardrobe.
The recent mild weather, turning on the radiators and our hectic lifestyles which sometimes put cleaning to the bottom of the to-do list, have all added to the problem as we accidentally create a haven for one of our most greedy house pests.
How can I stop clothes moths getting into my wardrobe?
Clean it up: moths love the dark and dirt so make sure all your clothes are put away washed and dry with any delicate or special fabrics sent to the dry cleaners. Winter coats should also be brushed out on a washing line on a sunny day. Give your whole wardrobe a good spruce up too: airing out the space and bringing out the vacuum cleaner should immediately keep the moths at bay.
- Bag up the best: store your most treasured clothes and fabrics in acid-free tissue paper and plastic vacuum packed sealed bags to stop the moths attacking them.
- Freeze them out: It’s not your run-of-the-mill tip but putting clothes you can’t wash, such as leather or fur, in the freezer really works. Pop your clothes in a bag and then leave your freezer to work its magic for at least 3 days.
- Conkers: many insects, including moths, hate the chemical smell conkers give off as they dry out so leave a couple of fresh ones in your drawers and change them every few weeks. Cloves and cinnamon sticks also work in the same way.
- Lavender leaves your wardrobe smelling lovely and deters the moths. You can either hang up a lavender bag or sprinkle some loose lavender in the bottom of your wardrobe to stave off the insect invasion.
How can I kill clothes moths?
If your clothes and home are already under attack, it might be time to try one of these tactics:
- Lay pheromone traps that attract and stick to male moths, causing the moth population in your home to gradually die off. You can buy pheromone traps from most supermarkets for less than £10.
- Patch up the holes: if it’s too late for your favourite angora, you should be able to mend the tiny holes by making a few overstitches on the inside of the garment. For more significant damage, think of it as an opportunity to get creative and add patches, ribbons, lace or even a brooch to cover up the nibbles.
- Professional repairs: if the moths have targeted your most precious garments there are professional mending services available who can help restore your items back to health using specialist sewing techniques. The British Invisible Mending Service offer repairs from £40.
- Bring in the experts: if nothing else works and the moths are still taking siege of your home, speak to a pest control service who may be able to get rid of your unwanted guests using more extreme means for a cost. You could try Rentokil (0800 917 1984) rentokil.co.uk or Environ (02073844501) environpestcontrol.co.uk.
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