How To Get Rid Of Moth Larvae?
Once you realise you have a moth larvae infestation you need to act quickly to minimise the damage. Wash clothing and dry in sunlight to kill larvae and eggs. Clean down the insides of your wardrobe or kitchen cupboards with a weak bleach solution. Wipe with neem solution.
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So how do you know if you have a moth larvae infestation?
The Dreaded Clothes Moth
With regards to clothes moths the unfortunate first sign of a problem tends to be the apparent damage to your clothing items. Moth larvae have expensive taste too. Usually choosing to dine on that new cashmere jumper or your favourite vintage fur. (if that’s how you roll,,, like Macklemore in a thrift store). Those horrid little pricks will even eat leather, yeah that’s not safe either. They’ll eat anything that has keratin, so pretty much anything that wasn’t man made.
The damage will often show up as irregularly shaped holes in your clothing. The size of these holes will depend on how long it has taken you to notice. Those moth larvae are ferocious eaters, it’s frankly rather terrifying. It’s all they do. In fairness, adult moths don’t actually have mouths so it seems harsh to judge their aggressive appetites. These moth larvae think they’re at an all you can eat continental breakfast buffet, just trying to get in as many Panna chocolate so they can skip lunch indefinitely.
Hopefully, you get lucky and notice the fully-grown adult moth lurking in the back of your wardrobe first. A moth egg is pretty small, you would want some hawk eyes to be able to notice them, they are usually around 0.5mm in length. The moth larvae themselves are also pretty dam small too, typically around 2-3 mm at first, but they keep growing as they devour your favourite threads.
So, How Do You Get Rid Of Moth Larvae? What’s The Best Way?
Right so you’ve noticed a bit of a situation. And when I say a bit of a situation, I mean a full-on moth infestation. What do you do now? Okay well, it’s important that above all else you remain calm and act as quickly as you can.
You’re going to need to remove every item of clothing from your wardrobe. Anything that can go in the washing machine needs to do so immediately. Don’t worry about the temperature, the swirling around in soapy water will be enough to kill any larvae that are lurking in there. Once the wash is finished you ideally need to dry them out in the sunlight. This is really just an extra precaution to make double sure that you have killed absolutely all of the moth eggs that may not have hatched yet.
But what do you do if your garments are too delicate to be washed? Maybe you have a Marabou feather coat or perhaps a leather jacket, you don’t want anything happening to these prized pieces. These sort of items most certainly can’t go in the wash. What we would recommend that you do is to simply freeze these garments. Freeze those little pests to death.
Take any garments and if possible, seal them into plastic bags. A bin bag would do if the item is large or you just don’t have anything else. Then leave them in an empty freezer draw for 24 hours. You probably don’t need to leave it in there for 24 hours, but what’s the harm? Once you feel that you have sufficiently frozen them, take the clothes out of the freezer, take them out of the bags, go outside and give them a really good shake. If you want to be extra safe, I would give them a run over with the hoover if possible, maybe not if its feather and then just leave them in the sunlight for a few hours. This should be enough to kill just about anything that could have been lurking.
Right so now all your precious clothes should be safe from any further damage, but you can’t just go and put them straight back into your wardrobe without ensuring that there is nothing lurking in there still. There are a few different ways to do this, ultimately you want to use a solution with an extreme ph. You could probably even just use an everyday cleaning spray, but what we recommend is a mixture of vinegar and water in equal parts, it works pretty well. Wipe absolutely everything down with it. This will just kill any left-over eggs or anything that you may have missed. This is a really important step. Do not skip this before putting your clothes back or you might find yourself right back in the same situation you were in before.
How To Prevent Moth Infestations From Returning?
We always say that prevention is the best tactic for stopping pest infestations. There are a few things that you can do that should be pretty effective at deterring moths from infesting your wardrobe again.
If you live in a humid region or maybe your clothes storing areas are just a bit stale, it is going to be important to freshen this up. Moths need humidity to survive. If you think that you have a humidity issue. Then that is probably your first port of call. Get some of those dehumidifying gels things or a dehumidifier or maybe even a fan just for some additional air circulation. But it is imperative that you reduce the humidity.
Neem Or Indian Lilac
Absolutely all insects hate Indian lilac, also known as neem. They actually cannot deal with it and moths are no exception to this. You can get neem oil and that’s what we recommend. Add a few drops to some cotton wool or anything absorbent and just leave it in the corners of your wardrobe. You could probably just dab a smidge on the sides or back, providing clothes will not touch it. You want to try and avoid getting any oils onto your clothes as the can be an absolute nightmare to get out,,, they’re still better than holes though to be fair.
This is another natural one. It’s probably not as effective as neem oil but generally, all pest insects hate cedar. There are a few different ways that you can integrate this into your moth prevention strategy. Firstly, you can actually get cedar trunks to store your clothes in. These are going to be pretty effective and could also look pretty pimp too. If you’re after a cheaper alternative, I know I would be, you can either go with some simple cedar chips. Put them in hessian bags and leave them in the back of your wardrobe. Basically anywhere that you found those scumbag moths lurking before. You can also get these cedar ring hanger things. We have never used them before, but they look pretty neat and tidy. We can’t see why they wouldn’t work just as well as any other cedar based product.
The only thing to keep in mind is that cedar will start to lose its smell over time. Particularly as the oils dry out. After about 6 months to a year, you’ll need to replace the cedar chips. Alternatively, you could add a few drops of cedarwood oil to them instead. Just again like any of these oils be careful not to get any on your garments. If you do they’re pretty much done. Trying to get that oil out would be an absolute nightmare.
Of course, there are many other ways to get rid of moth larvae than just the ways mentioned in this article. These are just the measures that we would take if we were faced with a moth infestation. Hopefully, this has answered any of the questions you might have had about how to get rid of moth larvae.
Are you looking for more information on different ways to get rid of moths? Then try out some of our other posts listed below.