How To Get Rid of Clothes Moths (The Complete Removal Guide)

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how to get rid of clothes moths

Looking to get rid of clothes moths, well you came to the right place!

 

In this guide about how to get rid of clothes moths, you’ll learn:

  • How to prevent clothes moths in the first place
  • How to identify clothes moths
  • The do’s and don’ts of cloth moth removal (not to be skipped)
  • And some frequently asked cloth moth removal questions

Clothes moths can be some of the most destructive insects, with the ability to destroy and damage some of our most cherished possessions. They should not be taken lightly if you see them flying about in your home.

From clothes moth sprays, to moth balls, to natural remedies, to cloth moth steamers and even cloth moth covers, there are many ways to prevent and remove them, but what actually works?

In this guide, we’ll be covering clothes moth identification, prevention, how to treat damaged items, how to prevent them and then finally how to get rid of them. There is lots of information to cover, so here is a quick table of contents to jump to what be most relevant.

What’s in this guide
Can Clothes Moths Be Beaten?How Do You Go About Getting Rid of Clothes Moths
What do clothes moths look like?The Do’s and Don’ts of Clothes Moth Removal
Signs of a clothes moth InfestationFrequently Asked Questions About Clothes Moths
What damage can clothes moths do?Conclusion & Final Thoughts on Clothes Moths
How To Prevent Clothes Moths

Can clothes moths be beaten?

To introduce this guide, I wanted to write some information on the emotional toll clothes moths can take on you when they destroy some of your most prized possessions and provide some comfort in the fact that yes these moths can be beaten.

Knowing there are clothes moths in your home, laying eggs and knowing their larvae are eating your stuff can cause anxiety, sleepless nights and stress.

Female clothes moths can produce over 100 eggs over there 1-2 week lifespan. These eggs take 10 days to hatch and take a couple of months to grow into an adult.

Four of the Biggest Reasons For Clothes Moth Infestations are

  • Lack of preventive measures in your home
  • Bad advice on the internet
  • Incomplete DIY extermination practices
  • Incompetent exterminators

 

Despite the difficulty to remove clothes moths yourself, there are proven ways to remove clothes moth infestations without an exterminator. 

At certain infestation levels, you will need to call a professional, and we’ll cover later in this guide when you should think about calling one before it is too late. 

Read the guide below on how clothes moths can be beaten.

What do clothes moths look like?

There are two species of clothes moths that are commonly found in our homes and the adult moths of these two species look very much alike. These are the webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) and the casemaking clothes moth (Tinea Pellionella). 

The table below compares what both of these moths look like.

Webbing Clothes MothCasemaking Clothes Moth
Image of adult webbingImage of adult casemaking
Size: 

1/4 inch to 3/8 inch (7-10 mm) in length with a wingspread of about 3/8 inch (10 mm)

Adult Appearance:

  • Small, straw-colored, yellow-tan, or buff-colored
  • Narrow wings fringed with hairs. 
  • A tuft of hairs on the head is upright and coppery to reddish-gold in color 
 

Size: 

10 – 14 mm wingspan (3/8 – 1/2 in.)

Adult Appearance:

  • Small with three dark spots on each front wing
  • Brown/Tan gray wings are long and narrow 
  • Hind wings are fringed with long hairs
Image of webbing larvaeImage of casemaking larvae
Larvae Appearance:

  • The larva is whitish colored with a brown to black head.
 

Larvae Appearance:

  • Pale yellow in color when hatched –
  • As it ages it turns more white with brownish head
  • Larva will always drag its silken case around with it

Both webbing and casemaking clothes moths can be found all year long, but they can be found most often during the summer and autumn months or in warm buildings during the winter. They survive best in humid areas, and rarely found in very dry parts of a country.

These clothes moths can also be identified by the fact that they usually fly only around the immediate area of the house where the infestation has occurred, and their flight pattern is distinctive – they tend to flutter about rather than fly in a direct, steady way.

The larvae of the clothes moths, look like caterpillars, do the most damage in our homes eating any fabrics or cloth around them in order to grow. Adult moths that fly around do not eat anything.

What are the signs of a clothes moth infestation?

The signs of a clothes moth infestation can be pretty clear once you know what to look out for, signs of clothes moths in your home can include:

  • Furrows, silky tunnels or trenches found on wool products, including clothing, blankets and rugs.
  • Patches of damage to wool rugs, especially in little-used areas of the rug.
  • Small crusty accumulations on fabrics, rugs and clothing
  • The appearance of moths when you move fabric from their storage areas.

However, it is important to understand these signs in a bit more detail as it will help you identify the type of clothes moth that you are dealing with to help you take the correct preventive measures.

Below we outline the different signs of a Webbing Clothes Moth and Casemaking Clothes moth infestation.

Signs of a clothes moth infestation

Webbing Clothes Moth Casemaking Clothes Moth 
  • Damaged fabrics with silken webs attached to them.
  • Tunnels or sheets of webbing strung across fabrics.
  • Small amounts of feces and cloth frass located on fabrics.
  • No web or silk on the damaged fabrics
  • Random patterns of holes on fabrics
  • Fecal pellets beneath the material or in folds and creases in textiles.
  • Case like shape attached to fabric

The signs of a clothes moth infestation can be pretty clear once you know what to look out for, signs of clothes moths in your home can include:

  • Furrows, silky tunnels or trenches found on wool products, including clothing, blankets and rugs.
  • Patches of damage to wool rugs, especially in little-used areas of the rug.
  • Small crusty accumulations on fabrics, rugs and clothing
  • The appearance of moths when you move fabric from their storage areas.

However, it is important to understand these signs in a bit more detail as it will help you identify the type of clothes moth that you are dealing with to help you take the correct preventive measures.

Below we outline the different signs of a Webbing Clothes Moth and Casemaking Clothes moth infestation.

Signs you have a casemaking moth infestation

  • The casemaking clothes moth will rarely spin a web on the material on which it is feeding. The larva of the casemaking clothes moth will feed in a random pattern over its food source, pulling its case behind it. 
[image_with_animation image_url=”297″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”]
  • The amount of damage done to any item the larvae feed on is based directly on how much time it spends in any one location. You can often notice fecal material from the feeding larvae as they will drop beneath the material, or fall into folds and creases in the textiles, rugs and furs. 

 

  • The cases for that the casemaking clothes moths grow during the pupa stage will often be attached to a bag, wall or ceiling around the infested material. Often the pupa cases will be attached to the material itself, attached only by a silk thread produced by the larva.

Signs you have a Webbing moth infestation

  • Where webbing clothes moths will often integrate their pupa cases into the fabric or fur that it feeds upon, the case for the casemaking clothes moth is distinctly separate if attached at all.
[image_with_animation image_url=”302″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”]
  • The webbing clothes moth larva spins silk as a tunnel or sheet of webbing across the material under which it feeds from. The damage to the material the webbing moth feeds on is always accompanied by copious amounts of webbing tubes or sheets which frequently include large amounts of leftover material from what has been fed on.

 

  • As a result webbing clothes moth infestations appear far more messy than the damage caused by casemaking clothes moths.

If none of these signs match the moth infestation that you think you have then we would  recommend checking out our post on what are the signs of moth problems to help you identify which moth has invaded your home and to aid in your treatment of second hand clothes and furniture.

What damage can clothes moths do?

The damage that clothes moths can do to your home is quite extensive, especially in the larvae stage of their lifecycle as this is when they do all there feeding.

The items to keep an eye on in your home that clothes moths will damage are usually the following:

  • Items made with animal products or animal fur, such as silk, leather or wool,
  • Upholstered furniture, cloth and textiles,
  • Cotton fabric blends that contain wool and Synthetic fabrics, 
  • Dirty or soiled clothing and items that contain moisture from spilled liquids,
  • Items made from hair, or items that contain either animal hair, human hair and pet hair.

Why do clothes moths eat clothes

The reason why the larvae of clothes moths will feed on and potentially damage your clothes and a variety of other household items is because clothes moth larvae are attracted to items have keratin in it. 

Keratin is a protein material contained in animal by products like hair, nails, feathers, horns, claws, hooves, and the outer layer of skin.

Clothes moth larvae need keratin to grow into their adult form, which you see flying around your house.

So you may have realised it by now a lot of household items that are in your home, are made or contain animal based products are items that clothes moths will be attracted to feed on.

Where to check for clothes moth damage

If your worried about any damage that clothes moths may have done, check in hidden locations on your clothes, in your wardrobes or closets and upholstered items like sofas and chairs. Here are a few suggestions on where to check for damage:  

  • Check your clothes: Grab a magnifying glass and look In hidden areas on your clothes, such as under collars or cuffs on your clothes or around the seams of jumpers. Often, damage to fabrics and linens may not be visible until a hole appears.

 

  • Check your sofas and chairs: look in and around the seams of zips or on the underside of these items

 

  • Check your wardrobes and closets: while no damage will be done to these items directly look in the corners of these items as well as on the bottom of them inside to see for signs of an infestation.

Planning to prevent clothes moths in your house like closets or other places where clothes or fabrics are stored is the key to helping your clothes remain intact and helps you manage any future clothes moth infestations.

How to prevent clothes moths?

To help prevent clothes moth Infestations it is important to take precautionary measures to help protect yourself from ever having to manage one. 

These include avoiding purchasing second hand furniture or clothes (if possible), maintaining an environment in your home that deters clothes moths, storing your possessions and clothes properly, establishing a regular inspection routine and understanding the early signs of a clothes moth infestation.

Taking a few key steps like these prevent clothes moths from ever coming into your life can potentially save you thousands of dollars, stop any destruction of prized items of clothing or furniture and significant emotional stress.

The Do’s & Don’ts of preventing clothes moths

Do’sDon’ts
  • avoid buying second hand clothes and furniture
  • Ensure your home has low humidity
  • Use moth traps in your closet
  • Vacuum regularly 
  • Brush your clothes
  • Clean your clothes before storing them away
  • Store off season clothes in an airtight way
  • Cover unused and stored fabric based products in plastic
  • ignore inspecting your clothes for signs of moth damage
  • Ignore using your vacuum
  • Wash clothes before storing them away
  • Store off season clothes in unsealed bags
  • Leave unused furniture uncovered
  • Ignore damp problems that may occur in rooms with furniture and clothes
  • Forget to inspect your possessions when you see a clothes moth in your house

Below are our top tips on how to prevent clothes moths from entering and damaging your home.

  1. Avoid Second hand furniture and clothes

 

Using gumtree, freecycle sites or craigslist for your second hand furniture or second hand clothes purchasing needs may sound like a great idea, but it also begs the question… Is there Moth Larvae or eggs?

I would recommend, if possible, that you entirely avoid second hand furniture or anything else second hand unless you’re fully aware of the item’s past ownership and if it has been properly cleaned before you buy it. 

But if you can’t pass up a deal that is too good to be true (I know I can’t) here are a few key ways to go about ensuring you don’t bring clothes moths into your house:

  • Chairs and sofas: Inspect the under the cushions, seams, push down on the springs, and look under the item for black spots. After you buy, consider using a steamer to heat up the item (clothes moth larvae and eggs hate heat) and leaving them in an isolated location with clothes moth larvae traps.

 

  • Clothes: For second hand clothes, an advisable treatment would be to wash and dry your clothes with as much heat as possible without ruining the fabric.

The most common and effective method for killing all stages of clothes moths in clothing, blankets and other washable items is to thoroughly launder them after you buy them for 30 minutes in water that is at least 120F / 50C.

If you have more specialised items that can’t be washed at home, take them to a dry cleaners before bringing them in your home.

Here are some key ways to inspect second hand clothes or furniture for clothes moths:

[image_with_animation image_url=”306″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”]

This picture illustrates a webbing clothes moth cocoon hidden among clothing fibres in a second hand jumper. Here are a few more pictures of clothes moths in case you need to see any more examples of what to look out for.

[image_with_animation image_url=”307″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”]

These picture illustrates leftover webbing and fecal material in the seams of an upholstered sofa. Here are a few more pictures of clothes moths in case you need to see any more examples of what to look out for

When buying second hand anything from anyone, you should always ask probing questions to understand the items storage history and usage. If you’re buying from a thrift shop, ask them if they do anything to clothes after they come into the store. If any sort of heat treatment is involved when new goods arrive, that is a good sign.

We’d also recommend checking out our clothes moth steamer and vacuum guide to aid in your treatment of second hand clothes and furniture.

  1. Create an environment that deters clothes moths

 

When you want to get rid of moth the best place to start is creating an environment inside your house that can deter clothes moths, this is a good idea for reducing your chances of any infestations. Environments that deter moths are low levels of humidity, no openings in walls or windows, cleaning chimneys and no animal nests.

Clothes moths thrive in certain conditions so it is a good idea to ensure your home isn’t a perfect environment for clothes moths to make your house their home.

Here are a few key ways to go about ensuring your house remains an unfriendly environment to clothes moths:

 

  • Humidity Levels that deter moths: Clothes moths thrive at 75% humidity. They find it tough to survive in less than 30% humidity. So Ensure you keep humidity levels low inside your home as clothes moths thrive in damp and humid areas. 

 

  • Close the doors in your house: Ensure you seal any cracks around windows, doors and piping to reduce the chances of clothes moths entering your property this way,

 

  • Clean your Chimneys: check any open chimneys and ensure they are cleaned every couple of years as clothes moths can grow in animal nests that may be in your chimney.

 

  • Remove animal nests: check for any animal nests or other animal infestations in your home, especially your attic or basement to reduce any environment favorable to moths in places like attics or basements.

 

We’d also recommend checking out our clothes moth steamer and vacuum guide to aid in your treatment of second hand clothes and furniture.

  1. Store clothes and fabrics properly to prevent clothes moths

 

Storing clothes and fabrics properly will ensure you minimize or prevent damage from clothes moths. Following some simple principles, like never packing away dirty clothes, brushing your clothes regularly, storing off-season clothes properly and cleaning your closet often will help you prevent a stable environment for moths to grow.

Here are a few key ways to ensure you can store clothes and fabrics properly to prevent clothes moths from damaging them:

  • Never pack away dirty clothes

Before you pack away any clothes that aren’t in season be sure to give them a good clean. Not only will this save you time when you want to use them again but it will ensure any moths larvae or eggs have been destroyed should there be any. 

  • Brush your clothes 

You may have thought brushes were for hair, but brushing your clothes with a brush, is a smart way to remove moth eggs and expose larvae.  

Take your clothes outside and place them in direct sunlight, brushing them thoroughly, paying special attention to seams, folds, and pockets. 

Brushing is an easy and natural way to destroy eggs, and exposing larvae to bright light causes them to fall away from clothing.

  • Store off your off season clothes properly

When storing clothes, fabrics and upholstered goods, you should think about how you are storing these items, ask yourself will there be or could there be clothes moths around and if so take the necessary steps to protect these items.

Before packing away your clothes at the end of the season and putting them away, wash or dry clean items that have been worn to remove oil and dirt. Clothes moths love your dirty and oily clothes.

Wash for 30minutes in water that is at least 120°F, or just send them to the dry cleaners.

Once your garments are clean, put them safely away in airtight plastic containers. Ensure they have tight-fitting lids as clothes moths can get through tiny spaces.

If you don’t store your clothes in different places and you are storing out of season clothes in the same dressers and trunks be aware that these are at risk. 

So ensure that you have stored these items not in use for a while in vacuum bags or air sealed bags to prevent any harm coming to your clothes.

To protect the items from condensation, wrap them in lengths of clean cotton, and store. Take care in using plastic containers for long-term storage-years rather than months-as they do not allow the items to breathe, and some plastics may degrade fabric over time. If storing valuable items, consult with a professional textile conservator for recommendations.

  • Clean around and inside your wardrobes and closet regularly

Moths hate light and movement, so keep your closet open, air it out regularly, and move clothes around. 

Vacuuming effectively removes larvae as well as hair and lint which could support future infestations. So make sure you get into those awkward spots in your closet.

Make sure to vacuum around the edges of carpets, along baseboards, underneath furniture, inside closets and other dark areas where clothes moths prefer to feed. 

  • Cover unused upholstered products with plastic

and other dark areas where clothes moths prefer to feed. Vacuuming up an infested area? Dispose of the bag’s contents immediately, as it could include eggs, larvae, or adult moths.

We’d also recommend checking out our guide on the best items that can help you store your clothes from clothes moths.

  1. Establish a regular inspection programme

 

Establish a regular inspection program of all susceptible items at least once a year. Take all items out of closets and drawers, and vacuum closets and drawers thoroughly to remove lint on which larvae may feed. 

Check for clothes moths in the crevices, creases and folds of clothing as well as behind labels.

Make sure clothes are clean before storing them in vacuum bags or boxes with sealed tight lids.

Take out items hanging up inside your wardrobe and shake them at least once a month – moths hate being disturbed.

Check underneath seats for signs of webbing or ‘cases’. Also check around piping, in deep buttons and in the seat or arm crevices.

How Do You Go About Getting Rid of Clothes Moths

At this point in the guide, you have probably decided that you have a clothes moth problem and that you want to get rid of clothes moths now.

You’ve seen clothes moths flying around, your clothes have holes in them and you may have spotted some larvae and you need to get rid of them ASAP!

This section will outline exactly the steps to take to get rid of clothes moths, how to go about finding an exterminator, and the do’s and don’ts when it comes to how to get rid of clothes moths.

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Rid of Clothes Moths

 

Below we outline the steps you should take once you’ve determined there is probably a clothes moth problem in your house. 

 

  1. Remain Calm

When you realize you have clothes moths around, the worst thing you can do is to over react and start going on a house decontaminating rampage and filling your house with poisonous insecticides.

Clothes moths are a nuisance, yes, but now that they’re here, the most prudent use of your energy would be to remain calm and take the necessary steps to remove them.

We emphasize the theme of staying calm all throughout this guide because it is so vitally important to exterminating clothes moths and ensuring you don’t help the infestation grow.

 

  1. Clean And Quarantine Clothes

Regardless of whether you find any clothes moth eggs or larvae on your clothes, you should take proactive measures to clean and quarantine everything in and around the room that you found the clothes moth in. 

It’s important to first make a plan on how you will isolate and clean each item in your room. 

All of your clothes that don’t have to be dry cleaned should be bagged up and washed/dried on the highest heat setting.  At about 120 degrees, all the clothes moths and their eggs will die. Once cleaned, bag up the clothes and isolate them in house.  

Once you’ve isolated your belongings and inspected your wardrobes and closets for clothes moths, make sure to wipe down and vacuum every crack and crevice in your house. The contents of your vacuum should be sealed in a plastic bag and disposed of outside of your home.

At this point, you’ve probably done about 90% of what you should do before calling an exterminator for professional assistance should the infestation be persistent enough to reappear. The key point of this step is to knockout the obvious areas of your house.

 

  1. Clean And Quarantine upholstered furniture and carpets

More than likely you will have noticed clothes moth larvae or eggs in your upholstered furniture or carpets after inspecting these items in a room where you have found a clothes moth infestation.

If any upholstered furniture or carpets that you have inspected are infested or has had the signs of a clothes moth infestation it is advisable to use the appropriate method to remove any clothes moth larvae and eggs. You will not find any adult clothes moths (winged moths) in your furniture or carpets just the larvae and eggs.

For a DIY removal approach we advise isolating your furniture and rooms where carpet has been infected and then either use clothes moth sprays, clothes moth foggers and clothes moth dust to remove any infestations depending on the level of infestation.

Alternatively, if you feel that the infestation is too much for you to handle yourself we would advise looking at hiring an exterminator.

  1. How To Get Rid of Clothes Moths yourself

There are a number of ways to remove clothes moths yourself. Some effective ways are by utilizing Traps, Sprays, Foggers, mothballs, clothes moth dust and natural tools. 

However, each process and tool is only effective in certain situations and at certain moth life cycle stages. Below we provide an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of using these methods in your home.

The best tools for removing moths at different stages of their lifecycle
Adult Clothes MothsClothes Moth Eggs and Larvae
  • Clothes Moth Traps
  • Clothes Moth Sprays
  • Clothes Moth Foggers
  • Clothes Moth Foggers
  • Clothes Moth Sprays
  • Clothes Moth Dust
  • Mothballs 

Using Clothes Moth Traps to get rid of clothes moths

 

One of the most effective ways to remove adult clothes moths is to use clothes moth traps. 

These traps are usually one of the most budget-friendly solutions to getting rid of adult clothes moths.

Traps can be used to trap adult male clothes moths by attracting them to a moth pheromone.

Trapping male adult clothes moths helps stop the fertilization of female moths thus breaking their life cycle and eradicating them from your space.

Traps are ideally placed where there are signs of cloth moth infestations or in closets and where your clothes or stored upholstered furniture are located.

Traps are best placed in your closet or wardrobe or in and around or under stored furniture or clothes

 

When to use clothes moths traps

  • When you see the first signs of adult clothes moths.
  • All the time, to ensure you catch clothes moths when they enter your home for the first time.

 

The advantages of using clothes moths traps to get rid of clothes moths:

  • Enables you to detect the presence of clothes moths
  • provides some control because trapped males can’t mate.
  • Moth traps are organic and toxin-free money saving devices that are effective for getting rid of moths

 

The disadvantages of using clothes moths traps is that 

  • they only attract male clothes moths
  • They do not trap female clothes moths
  • They do not attract or catch clothes moth eggs or larvae
  • There are a wide variety and pros and cons to certain brands

When buying a clothes moth trap it is a good idea to ensure you review them properly as there are many types and use cases. Check out our guide on the best clothes moth traps available here.

When to use clothes moths sprays to get rid of clothes moths

  • When you have a severe clothes moth infestation or the infestation covers 

 

The advantages of using clothes moths sprays:

  • Enables you to remove moths on a larger scale
  • Enables you to remove clothes moth larvae in carpets and upholstered items

 

The disadvantages of using clothes moths sprays 

  • They can be toxic and harmful to pets and humans
  • Some contain an oil base so may stain your fabrics

The best types of Clothes Moth Sprays for certain situations

 

The severity and coverage of a clothes moth infestation should determine the amount of volume you need in a clothes moth spray. 

Smaller sprays are usually sufficient for small homes, while for an infestation in a warehouse, larger volume sprays are often required. 

Make sure to check the base of your spray (e.g. oil or water) as oil based sprays can stain fabrics easily. So don’t spray oil based sprays on silk or other fabrics. 

For surfaces you suspect might stain, first spray a small, inconspicuous area and let it dry to see if staining occurs. Widespread or heavy infestations often require the services of a professional pest

Another factor to consider is the application type of the spray (e.g. wide, narrow, fogger)  some are suitable for widespread use in rooms (foggers) over large areas (wide) on fabrics or carpets (narrow). To choose the best application type you’ll need to first figure out exactly where and how you’ll want to spray against clothes moths.

Rugs and carpeting which have moth activity will generally need more than just aerosol to control a local problem. Liquid applications are really the only way to be sure you get thorough coverage and enough material to last.

When buying clothes moth sprays it is a good idea to ensure you review them properly as there are many types of sprays available. Check out our guide on the best clothes moths sprays available here.

Exercising safety when using clothes moth sprays

 

When using clothes moths sprays you need to be safe. It’s best to get your family and pets away from the treated area. 

It’s also advisable to use protection during application – goggles, gloves, a coat, a mask are important tools to use to keep yourself safe. 

Once you’re done with spraying, it’s also strongly recommended to keep clothes moth killer sprays out of the reach of kids and pets. For everyone’s safety, you should always keep such storage spaces securely locked.

Using Clothes Moth Powder to get rid of clothes moths

 

Sometimes it can be hard to reach certain areas in your home where you think clothes moth larvae or eggs may be. Attic spaces will often contain natural fibers commonly used in the insulation or something being stored. Eggs laid in this area can take a long time to develop but eventually will mature and forage to other parts of the home.

These areas are typically well protected from liquid treatments and aerosols don’t do a good enough job penetrating either.

That is why using powders to cover ares may be a good option for long term control of well hidden or protected areas.

Clothes moth powders are intended for use in hard-to-reach places and for a long-term effect. 

They can come in a canister or a tube and should be applied under carpets, behind baseboards, under low furniture, etc. Once applied, they are to be spread into place with something like a paintbrush. 

The powder / dust is supposed to stay there for a long time, effectively dealing with any eggs and larvae that are there and prevent a future infestation. Dust is not really suitable for closets, clothes, and wardrobes, but cloth moths don’t just attack clothes – they also love to infest certain carpets and furniture types.

 

When to use clothes moths Powder to get rid of clothes moths

  • When you have found signs of clothes moth larvae or eggs in hard to reach areas

 

The advantages of using clothes moth powder:

  • Enables you to prevent infestation of eggs and larvae over a longer period
  • Provides longer term control of egg and larvae infestation

 

The disadvantages of using clothes moth powder 

  • They can be toxic and harmful to pets and humans
  • The application method is not as easy as sprays
  • The dust is expected to be left for a long time so better used in areas that are not really used or frequented

 

When buying clothes moth powders it is a good idea to ensure you review them properly as there are many types available. Check out our guide on the best clothes moths powders available here.

Using Clothes Moth Powder to get rid of clothes moths

 

Sometimes it can be hard to reach certain areas in your home where you think clothes moth larvae or eggs may be. Attic spaces will often contain natural fibers commonly used in the insulation or something being stored. Eggs laid in this area can take a long time to develop but eventually will mature and forage to other parts of the home.

These areas are typically well protected from liquid treatments and aerosols don’t do a good enough job penetrating either.

That is why using powders to cover ares may be a good option for long term control of well hidden or protected areas.

Clothes moth powders are intended for use in hard-to-reach places and for a long-term effect. 

They can come in a canister or a tube and should be applied under carpets, behind baseboards, under low furniture, etc. Once applied, they are to be spread into place with something like a paintbrush. 

The powder / dust is supposed to stay there for a long time, effectively dealing with any eggs and larvae that are there and prevent a future infestation. Dust is not really suitable for closets, clothes, and wardrobes, but cloth moths don’t just attack clothes – they also love to infest certain carpets and furniture types.

 

When to use clothes moths Powder

  • When you have found signs of clothes moth larvae or eggs in hard to reach areas

 

The advantages of using clothes moth powder:

  • Enables you to prevent infestation of eggs and larvae over a longer period
  • Provides longer term control of egg and larvae infestation

 

The disadvantages of using clothes moth powder 

  • They can be toxic and harmful to pets and humans
  • The application method is not as easy as sprays
  • The dust is expected to be left for a long time so better used in areas that are not really used or frequented

 

When buying clothes moth powders it is a good idea to ensure you review them properly as there are many types available. Check out our guide on the best clothes moths powders available here.

Using Clothes Moth Balls to get rid of clothes moths

 

The smell of mothballs is unmistakable and hard to miss. Proper use includes keeping it in tightly-lidded containers and out of reach from children and pets. 

In airtight containers, the fumes released by mothballs accumulate and effectively work to kill adult clothes moths and moth larvaes. Upon removing clothing items from the containers, clothes should be aired out, thoroughly washed, and properly dried prior to use to eliminate the odor and minimize exposure to the fumes. 

Do you have an infant or children at home? Are you an expecting mother? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then get rid of your mothball and ventilate your household. Not only can children mistake mothballs for candy, naphthalene is a very toxic chemical

 

When to use clothes mothballs:

  • When you have found signs of clothes moths on your cloths

 

The advantages of using clothes mothballs:

  • Very effective if used correctly

 

The disadvantages of using clothes mothballs

  • Are very toxic and can cause harm to children if not stored away from them
  • Only useful if applied in containers with clothing 
  • Clothes and fabrics will need to be washed and aired afterwards

 

When buying clothes moth balls it is a good idea to ensure you review them properly as there are many types of clothes moth balls available. Check out our guide on the best clothes moths balls available here.

  1. Hiring an exterminator to get rid of clothes moths

 

When you can’t seem to get a handle on the clothes moth infestation and you think it’s time to call an exterminator to help with your clothes moth problem, before you pick up the phone you should ensure you know the right questions to ask that will help you evaluate if the exterminator is a competent professional. 

Given the rise in the clothes moth infestations, there are a lot of exterminators that claim to know how to eliminate them, when in reality, they just don’t have a clue what they are doing.

It’s too easy to just call and settle on the first exterminator you see on google and because you are so caught up in the problem you are trying to solve you can fail to ask the right qualifying questions and just end up settling on the first company or person you call

Sometimes that works out great but often you’ll end up with a clothes moth exterminator that isn’t great at their job. If this happens, you’ll only increase the stress you may have to deal with, potentially end up paying for another exterminator after and increase your stress levels.

To avoid potential issues here are the “must ask” questions when hiring an exterminator for your clothes moth problem.

 

Are they licensed by your state?

You can validate the answer they will give you through your State or countries Department of Agriculture website. Search on the website or give the department a call.

 

Do they have references from past clients?

Consider also validating their references through your own research (Google, trust advisor, Yelp or LinkedIn) to make sure they are as good as they say they are.

 

Do they have a guarantee?

Clothes Moth infestations can be hard to get rid of at certain infestation levels. A reputable company will give a guarantee of their service as part of the contract. Companies who aren’t confident in their service will give you an excuse as to why they don’t offer guarantees. So consider this when selecting a exterminator.

 

Do they have liability insurance?

If the answer is no, don’t bother in engaging any more with this company.

 

How long do treatments last?

Thorough clothes moth infestation treatments should last up to 2 hours depending on the size of the job involved.

 

How many treatments is included in the service and price offered?

To compare levels of service and price, it is advisable to ask how many treatments are included in the quote offered. It might take two trips to ensure that the clothes moth infestation has been dealt with properly, or at least a follow up inspection after the initial treatment.

 

Do their clothes moth extermination treatments consist of only insecticides?

Clothes moths larvae and eggs in some situations can be more resilient against insecticides than we may think, thus exterminators should be aware of alternative methods (e.g., steam treatments, encasements, natural remedies or clothes moth traps). 

 

Does the clothes moth infestation treatment cover the entire house?

Clothes moth infestations will definitely centralize near the site of the initial infestation, but if you have been dealing with an infestation for some time, then this may have spread to other parts of your house without you knowing. It is important to check whether the level of service you will receive from the exterminator will involve a full inspection of the house before treatment. 

 

What is their inspection, application and extermination process?

A reputable clothes moth exterminator would never apply extermination treatments to an area they haven’t thoughtfully inspected. It is very important to understand the process of inspection, application and extermination when comparing exterminators to ensure you choose the most competent and professional service.

  1. Hiring an exterminator to get rid of clothes moths

 

When you can’t seem to get a handle on the clothes moth infestation and you think it’s time to call an exterminator to help with your clothes moth problem, before you pick up the phone you should ensure you know the right questions to ask that will help you evaluate if the exterminator is a competent professional. 

Given the rise in the clothes moth infestations, there are a lot of exterminators that claim to know how to eliminate them, when in reality, they just don’t have a clue what they are doing.

It’s too easy to just call and settle on the first exterminator you see on google and because you are so caught up in the problem you are trying to solve you can fail to ask the right qualifying questions and just end up settling on the first company or person you call

Sometimes that works out great but often you’ll end up with a clothes moth exterminator that isn’t great at their job. If this happens, you’ll only increase the stress you may have to deal with, potentially end up paying for another exterminator after and increase your stress levels.

To avoid potential issues here are the “must ask” questions when hiring an exterminator for your clothes moth problem.

 

Are they licensed by your state?

You can validate the answer they will give you through your State or countries Department of Agriculture website. Search on the website or give the department a call.

 

Do they have references from past clients?

Consider also validating their references through your own research (Google, trust advisor, Yelp or LinkedIn) to make sure they are as good as they say they are.

 

Do they have a guarantee?

Clothes Moth infestations can be hard to get rid of at certain infestation levels. A reputable company will give a guarantee of their service as part of the contract. Companies who aren’t confident in their service will give you an excuse as to why they don’t offer guarantees. So consider this when selecting a exterminator.

 

Do they have liability insurance?

If the answer is no, don’t bother in engaging any more with this company.

 

How long do treatments last?

Thorough clothes moth infestation treatments should last up to 2 hours depending on the size of the job involved.

 

How many treatments is included in the service and price offered?

To compare levels of service and price, it is advisable to ask how many treatments are included in the quote offered. It might take two trips to ensure that the clothes moth infestation has been dealt with properly, or at least a follow up inspection after the initial treatment.

 

Do their clothes moth extermination treatments consist of only insecticides?

Clothes moths larvae and eggs in some situations can be more resilient against insecticides than we may think, thus exterminators should be aware of alternative methods (e.g., steam treatments, encasements, natural remedies or clothes moth traps). 

 

Does the clothes moth infestation treatment cover the entire house?

Clothes moth infestations will definitely centralize near the site of the initial infestation, but if you have been dealing with an infestation for some time, then this may have spread to other parts of your house without you knowing. It is important to check whether the level of service you will receive from the exterminator will involve a full inspection of the house before treatment. 

 

What is their inspection, application and extermination process?

A reputable clothes moth exterminator would never apply extermination treatments to an area they haven’t thoughtfully inspected. It is very important to understand the process of inspection, application and extermination when comparing exterminators to ensure you choose the most competent and professional service.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Clothes Moth Removal

 

This section of the guide is to ensure you take the right steps and avoid some costly mistakes regardless of what stage of a clothes moth infestation you face. 

Whether you’ve just gotten your first infestation, or you’re in the middle of a full extermination, here are some important do’s and don’ts to familiarize yourself to ensure you are successful in getting rid of clothes moths.

The Do’s & Don’ts of Clothes Moth Removal

Do’sDon’ts
  • Use Clothes Moths Traps
  • Wash clothes on a High Heat
  • Isolate clean clothes
  • Steam upholstered furniture
  • Vet And Qualify Potential Exterminators
  • Use Foggers
  • Try To Handle Recurring Infestation On Your Own
  • Throw Away Your Belongings
  • Releasing Insecticides Into Your House

Clothes Moths Do’s

 

Use Clothes Moth Traps: Clothes moth traps are a key tool to help you capture and identify what type of clothes moth infestation you have, what you should be looking out for and how to manage the situation. Click here for our recommended clothes moths traps.

 

Wash clothes on a high heat: Using your washer and dryer to remove clothes moth eggs and larvae that may be calling your house a home. Just make sure that once clean, you store the clothes in a safe an isolated area until you are sure you have dealt with the site of your infestation.

 

Steam upholstered furniture: Applying direct heat in the form of steam to upholstered furniture can help reduce and remove populations of clothes moth larvae and eggs that have decided to nest and feed on your furniture. It is important to test a patch of furniture before applying heat treatment to ensure you won’t damage the upholstery. Click here for our recommended clothes moth steamers.

Evaluate and compare potential exterminators: As previously discussed in the above section, the difference between hiring the wrong exterminator and the right one to get rid of clothes moth problem could be the difference between eliminating the infestation first time or seeing the infestation appear again.

Clothes Moths Do’s

 

Use Clothes Moth Traps: Clothes moth traps are a key tool to help you capture and identify what type of clothes moth infestation you have, what you should be looking out for and how to manage the situation. Click here for our recommended clothes moths traps.

Wash clothes on a high heat: Using your washer and dryer to remove clothes moth eggs and larvae that may be calling your house a home. Just make sure that once clean, you store the clothes in a safe an isolated area until you are sure you have dealt with the site of your infestation.

Steam upholstered furniture: Applying direct heat in the form of steam to upholstered furniture can help reduce and remove populations of clothes moth larvae and eggs that have decided to nest and feed on your furniture. It is important to test a patch of furniture before applying heat treatment to ensure you won’t damage the upholstery. Click here for our recommended clothes moth steamers.

Evaluate and compare potential exterminators: As previously discussed in the above section, the difference between hiring the wrong exterminator and the right one for your clothes moth problem could be the difference between eliminating the infestation first time or seeing the infestation appear again.

Frequently Asked Questions About Clothes Moths

 

For the section of this guide, I put together a list of the most popular questions on the internet regarding clothes moths as well as their answers. 

If your particular clothes moth question wasn’t answered in the sections above, check the below FAQs. 

Should you need anything else answered? Leave a comment down below and i’ll add the answer to this section here.

 

How to detect whether I have clothes moths?

Look for adult clothes moths flying around your house or signs of egg or larvae infestation in your clothes, furniture or carpets.  

 

What do clothes moths look like?

Adult clothes are generally 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch (7-10 mm) in length with a wingspread of about 3/8 inch (10 mm). They can be small, straw-colored, yellow-tan, or buff-colored with narrow wings fringed with hairs. 

 

Where do clothes moths come from?

Generally, clothes moths will come from other infected items you bring in to your home. Rarely will they just fly into your home through windows or doors unless there is an infestation near your home.

 

Where do clothes moths hide?

Clothes moths are great at hiding in small spaces. Check the seams of your carpet, mattress, furniture or clothes.

 

What do clothes moths eat?

Clothes moths generally feed on anything with keratin in it. So Items made with animal products or animal fur, such as silk, leather or wool. Upholstered furniture, cloth and textiles. Cotton fabric blends that contain wool and Synthetic fabrics. Dirty or soiled clothing and items that contain moisture from spilled liquids and Items made from hair, or items that contain either animal hair, human hair and pet hair.

 

Who covers the cost of clothes moth extermination, the tenant or landlord?

The answer to this is that is varies from country to country and state to state as well as who is at fault for introducing the clothes moths into the dwelling (especially multi-unit housing). If you are a tenant worried about the cost of a potential moth infestation, renter’s insurance should be able to cover the costs.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts on Clothes Moths

 

So there you go, how to get rid of clothes moths, a complete guide.

In case you missed it, we covered how to prevent clothes moths, how to identify clothes moths, and the steps to get rid of clothes moths. 

Clothes moths can be very invasive insects with exception hiding skills. Don’t be overwhelmed by them if you encounter a clothes moth infestation. Just follow the steps laid out in the guide above and you’ll be prepared for any clothes moth infestation. In case you want a quick summary here’s our top tips:

 

  • Killing adult moths is easy with sprays and traps, but it’s their larvae that cause the damage.
  • Store clothes in vacuum sealed bags, dispose of old fabrics such as rolls of carpet and hoover regularly or thoroughly.
  • Because their eggs are microscopic and their larvae tiny, severe clothes moth infestations require professional treatment.
  • Avoid cowboy exterminators who promise results in one treatment, you need to have at least three treatments spaced two weeks apart.

Other Clothes Moth Guides 

 

Curious about other Clothes Moth guides? Check out our other detailed guides to help you get rid of clothes moths today.

 

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