Moths can be a serious problem for property owners, as they can cause extensive damage to clothing, carpets, and other surfaces. The appearance of moths in your home may not be too alarming unless you see them flying around in great numbers.
Moth pest control and treatment involve a number of different strategies, depending on the severity of the infestation.
In minor cases, you may be able to get rid of moths simply by vacuuming regularly and using moth traps. More serious infestations may require the use of pesticides or professional pest control services.
There are different moth species, but the most common in North America is the clothes moth and the carpet beetle. Clothes moths are attracted to natural fibers such as wool, cashmere, and cotton, while carpet beetles will eat just about anything, including synthetic fibers.
Moth larvae feed on fabrics and can cause irreparable damage in a short amount of time. In fact, clothes moths are responsible for more damage to clothing and other household items than any other type of insect.
Identifying a Moth Infestation
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of coming home after a long day, kicking off your shoes, and settling in for the evening. But what if, instead of relaxation, that sense of comfort is replaced by a feeling of unease?
What if, when you turn on the light, you see tiny brown insects flitting about your home? If this is the case, chances are you have a moth infestation. Don’t panic! There are steps you can take to get rid of these pesky critters. Read on to learn more.
Step 1: Inspect Your Home for Signs of Moths
The first step in getting rid of moths is to confirm that they are, in fact, the culprits. To do this, look for the following signs:
- Small holes or damage to clothing made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton.
- Clusters of small eggs or egg cases attached to fabrics or surfaces.
- Brown stains on clothing are caused by moth larvae feeding on fabric.
- Adult moths flying around your home or resting on surfaces.
Step 2: Identify Sources of Attraction
Now that you know you have a moth problem, it’s time to figure out what’s attracting them to your home in the first place. Moths are drawn to certain materials, including:
Your closet is probably one of the best places to start your search, as clothing made from natural fibers is a common source of attraction for moths. Once you’ve identified any potential sources of attraction, it’s time to take action.
Step 3: Check for Other Infested Items
A single piece of clothing may not be the only one affected. If you see multiple pieces of shirts or blankets with holes, it’s likely that other items in your home are also infested. To check for other affected items:
Inspect all clothing made from natural fibers in your closet, dresser, and any other storage areas.
Look for small larvae or egg cases on clothing, furniture, and carpeting.
Check for damage to any stored items made from natural fibers, such as blankets, towels, or carpets.
Simply follow these three simple steps to verify any moth infestation in your home. Once you’ve verified an infestation, you can move on to the next step: treatment.
Moth Pest Control: Different Treatment Options for Property Owners
Whether it be the winter months or summertime, moth problems can arise at any time for property owners.
A common house pet, moths, are common in most homes because of the cloth, fabrics, and other fibers that they commonly feast on.
If you think that your home has been infested with moths, there are a few different ways to treat the problem.
Option 1: Chemical Sprays
Different moth species may require a wide range of moth treatments. With that being said, make sure that you correctly identify the species before using any type of chemical treatment.
If you’re doing this yourself, proper identification and understanding of the products you’re using is critical to your success.
Aside from the moth species, the type of chemical spray you use may also vary depending on the affected area.
For example, washing clothes using high heat or dry cleaning can eliminate webbing clothes moths and their larvae, followed by using a chemical spray on cracks and crevices.
Option 2: Moth Balls
You’ve probably seen and smelled this coming from your grandparents’ closet. These moth balls are some of the oldest and most common moth treatments. Mothballs are made from materials like naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, suffocating moths – leading to their demise.
These moth balls will sublime (from solid to gas). This means that it releases toxic fumes into the air, which can be harmful to people and pets if not used properly. Because of this, mothballs should only be used in small, unoccupied rooms and shouldn’t be placed outside cabinets or dressers.
Proper ventilation is critical when using mothballs, as the toxic fumes can be dangerous if inhaled in large quantities.
Option 3: Pheromone Traps
Pheromone traps are another popular moth treatment that uses the power of scent to lure moths into a trap. These traps work by releasing a pheromone (a sex hormone that attracts mates) that is specifically designed to attract moths of a certain species.
When the moth enters the trap, they become stuck to a sticky surface, preventing them from escaping. Pheromone traps are an effective way to reduce the population of moths in your home and are often used in conjunction with mothballs and even chemical sprays.
Option 4: Professional Help/Services
Moth pest control shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you suspect a severe infestation, mothballs won’t cut it. You need a more powerful solution to get rid of these pests for good. This is where most professional moths pest control companies come in.
While not all services are created equal, these companies will carefully conduct an assessment to identify the moth species invading your space. As mentioned earlier, this is an important aspect of moth pest control, as the treatment will vary depending on the species.
After the assessment, the pest control technician will discuss with you the different treatment options available, as well as the corresponding costs.
Depending on the severity of the infestation, the technician may opt for a chemical treatment, fumigation, or even heat treatment.
These more powerful moth treatments will eliminate the problem quickly and effectively, giving you peace of mind knowing that your home is finally moth-free.
Option 4: Natural Repellents
If you’re looking for a more natural solution, there are a few different options available to you. Different essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, mint, and lemon balm have all been known to repel moths.
These repellents can be used in a diffuser, or a few drops placed in a cotton ball can be placed in closets, drawers, and other storage areas. Another natural solution is to place fresh bay leaves in these same areas.
While not as potent as some of the other options on this list, natural repellents are a good option, especially if the infestation is not severe.
Moths shouldn’t be taken lightly. They ruin your clothes, contaminate your food, and their larvae can cause skin irritation.
If you suspect that you have a moth infestation, it’s important to take action quickly, and it all begins with proper investigation and identification.
Once you’ve identified the moth species, you can begin to look into different treatment options. Naphthalene balls, pheromone traps, and even professional help are all viable options that can help you get rid of these pests for good.