Moths in the home: What you need to know

Abell Pest Control

Moths may be small, but they can cause real damage around the house. Some species may infest your kitchen and living room area, while others are notorious for their ability to ruin your favorite clothes. Even in the winter, these flying insects can be a serious nuisance and demand action from homeowners. Here's what you need to know about the different ways moths can infest your home and what you can do about it:

Moths around the house

Some types of moths can be rather small, and as the University of California reported, their life cycle can be especially problematic. Females can produce dozens of eggs in a short period of time, and these hatch in less than two weeks. After laying eggs, the females usually die, while male moths will continue to mate. This means that if you don't treat an infestation, you could have a continued population of these pests for many weeks.

To make matters worse, the larvae stage can range significantly across species. Some moths may become adults in just a few weeks, while others can take years to reach maturity. For that reason, you could be dealing with an explosion of moths in the kitchen while a stable group of larvae lay dormant in the attic or closet. This can depend on the type of moth, but also on the availability of food.

Moths can be quite resourceful, and like other pests will make use of any available food. This can range from grains like cereal or rice, as well as fruit, seeds and even pet food. Be sure to keep your pantry and cupboards free of bugs by sealing all food in air-tight containers.

The University of Illinois found that moths can also be problematic for your yard. Some species, such as the gypsy moth, can eat a tremendous amount of plant matter in a single day, and target common types of trees like oak, beech, willow and others. A well-kept yard usually encourages a balanced population of insects and can limit the possibility of one species becoming too dominant.

Closet moths

Aside from infesting your pantry or reeking havoc in the yard, moths are such difficult pests because they can feed directly on clothing. Many types of moths prefer dark conditions and for that reason your closet is an excellent habitat for these animals to breed and survive. And unfortunately most folks have reached for a favorite piece of clothing only to discover it's been destroyed by hungry moths.

Moth eggs and larvae may hide under collars, cuffs and other areas of your clothes. For that reason, it can be easy to overlook a possible infestation. And because of their sometimes slow life cycle, your home could harbor moths through the summer and well into the winter or beyond.

Prevention best practices

Keeping moths and other pests out of your home starts with proper prevention. During the warmer months, be sure to use screens on windows and doors. And year-round, keep an eye out for possible signs of an infestation. Look for damage in your pantry or closet. Hang nice pieces of clothes in protective bags, and consider storing other items in plastic bins to keep hungry insects out. If you buy clothes second-hand, put them in the dryer on high heat to eliminate any eggs or larvae.

If you are dealing with moths, there are a few items you can buy at the store that will be helpful. Having said that, consulting with a pest control professional is your best bet for keeping your home safe from these flying insects.

About the author:

Since 1924, Abell Pest Control has provided quality services, protecting our customers and their patrons from coast-to-coast. Our customers enjoy the expertise and resources of a national provider. Prouder yet, we are members of your community, ready to service your home or business 24/7.

We are reliable experts in pest control—experts who care. At Abell Pest Control, we bring experience, efficacy and knowledge to customers who are looking for a fast, safe and effective solution to their pest problem.

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