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Moth Control from Rentokil

Protecting Your Home from Moths

Moths are not a common problem in this part of the world although they have been introduced to a few homes as a result of overseas travel. While they do not pose a health risk, they are a pest in homes because of the severe damage their larvae cause to clothes, fabrics, furs, leather and carpets.

This damage may continue for many weeks after moth caterpillars have hatched – serious harm may have been done before numbers of flying moths are seen and so prevention of a moth problem is important.

While a minor infestation of moths can be dealt with using insecticides, an established moth problem is likely to require professional assistance.

Signs of a Moth Problem

Often the first sign of a moth problem will be damage to fabrics but there will usually be other indicators:

  • Adult moths (often crawling rather than flying)
  • Maggot-like larvae (moth caterpillars)
  • The silken tubes or cases in which moth larvae live
  • Pupae (silk cocoons) in which larvae turn into moths

Please note, another common cause of damage to carpets or fur may be due to fur beetles or carpet beetles rather than moths. Please refer to our guide to carpet beetles for further information.

Identifying Moths

There are four common species of moth infestation in the home:

Common Clothes Moth

The Common Clothes Moth
  • Adults 6-8mm with straw-coloured wings and no markings
  • Larvae creamy white with a brown head and up to 10mm long
  • The moth larvae make irregular holes in fabrics

Case-Bearing Clothes Moth

Case Bearing Clothes Moth - Click to enlarge
  • Found particularly with imported animal fabrics
  • Adults 6mm long with a dark-buff colour and three faint spots
  • Creamy-white larvae up to 10mm
  • Makes more regular holes in fabric than common clothes moth

Brown House Moth

Brown House Moth
  • Adults 8-14mm and brown with three or four darker spots
  • Larvae up to 20mm, off-white with brown head
  • Larvae feed on a wide range of animal textiles including wool, leather and feathers

White-Shouldered House Moth

White Shouldered House Moth
  • Adults 6-10mm with a white head and mottled wings
  • Larvae up to 12mm, cream coloured with red-brown head
  • Larvae scavenge on wide range of food. Less damaging to textiles than clothes or brown house moths.

How to keep moth problems away

It is difficult to keep moths from entering an open window or door, although it is advisable to draw the curtains or use a fly screen when windows are open at night when moths will be attracted to lights.

Once inside, moths lay eggs in dark and rarely disturbed areas where clothes or other textiles are stored.

High risk areas include spare rooms, under beds and infrequently used cupboards or wardrobes. Lofts are also at risk because moths are attracted to bird nests that may be in the eaves of the house.

Dirty or soiled clothing is particularly attractive to moths, so always clean clothes before storing them.

Where textiles are to be stored for a period of time, keep them in sealed plastic bags or suitcases.

Ensure hidden areas such as under furniture are regularly vacuumed to remove moth eggs before they hatch. This is particularly important if there has been a previous infestation or if you have noticed increased levels of moth activity.

How to get rid of moths

A range of insecticides that kill moths, their larvae and their eggs is available from stores. However, an established moth infestation may require professional pest control.

Controlling Moth Problems Yourself

Moth balls containing naphthalene were the traditional preventative treatment for moths. However, we do not endorse using these products because of the chemicals used and the residual odours they produce.

Where the source of a small infestation has been traced, the area can be treated with Ant & Crawling Insect Sprays to kill moth eggs and larvae. After treatment, vacuum the area well and repeat treatment at least weekly until there are no signs of reinfestation.

Professional Moth Control

While insecticides purchased in general stores for self use can deal with smaller moth infestations, a professional pest control service will be required for larger or repeat infestations.

Rentokil technicians have a range of powerful insecticides to deal with moths and provide the reassurance that the problem has been fully dealt with.

Rentokil Pest Control offers a call-out service to treat moths or any other pest problem in the home. The service is fast, effective and affordable.

If you would like further advice or to arrange a range a visit from one of our service technicians, call us on (592) 225-9427.