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Tips for detecting and protecting your sweaters from clothes moths

Abell Pest Control

The weather is changing, and with it you're beginning to shift out some of your lighter sweaters in exchange for heavier ones. However, you notice small holes in some of your sweaters. Though it could be natural wear and tear, it's more likely that a few clothes moths got into your sweaters. Prevent clothes moths from getting into your sweaters using these pest management tips.

How to identify clothes moths

Clothes moths are a widespread pest, found across the U.S. and in some parts of Canada. There are many different species of moths, but clothes moths are fairly distinctive. They're the most common type of fabric moth. Sometimes they're blamed for damage done by carpet beetles, which are much more common in homes than clothes moths.

Clothes moths are a golden hue and have tiny, fringe-like hairs that line their wings. These bugs don't like light and often are found in dark, enclosed places - like your closet. Clothes moths are often mistaken for food- and grain-infesting moths. Food-infesting moths are bigger than clothes moths and much more active. Homeowners can distinguish between the two moths by catching one and examining it. Use a magnifying glass to study its head and wings, which are different.

Clothes moths are destructive during their larval stage. The insects lay eggs in secluded spots where there are plenty of clothes to feed off of. The bugs will then hatch within a month, though they may feed on the clothes for a few months.

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Pest control tips to prevent clothes moths

Use these suggestions to keep your sweaters hole-free.

  • Keep things organized: Clothes moths love people who are messy, especially those who let clothes sit under furniture for months, MarthaStewart Living magazine noted. Leaving food out can attract moths too. Instead, keep your living space organized by regularly picking up clothes and food.

  • Vacuum often: Vacuuming will help keep you organized but also pick up any eggs or larvae that you might not see. This will prevent the bugs from hatching or destroying your clothes.

  • Launder frequently: If you plan to store your clothes for a few months, you should launder them first. Washing your clothes will help remove any food stains or sweat that can attract moths.

  • Store wisely: Whether you pack away your clothes in the spring or in the fall, it's always important that you store them properly. If you're planning on storing them for years, use plastic containers that prevent moths from getting in. If you're just storing them for a few months, you can wrap your clothes in cotton fabric, which moths aren't attracted to.


About the author:

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management. Abell is proud to announce its 90th year of providing quality pest control services to North America. Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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