Moths

Moths

There are thousands of species of moths. However, there are only a few that you’ll usually encounter in your own home. The moths that we usually find infesting our homes are either eating clothing, or munching on dry goods in our pantries.

In order to rid you of a moth infestation, we’ll evaluate the setting and identify which species of moth is causing the problem. Once we identify the species, we’ll set pheromone traps that will contain the adult population and keep the population from reproducing. We’ll also check for signs of larvae and egg sacks, and advise you on the best way to clean and prevent another infestation.

Moths in the Closet

Moths are attracted to natural fibers, like wool or silk. Closet moths like dark, undisturbed places and are very secretive. If you do catch a glimpse of these moths, you’ll notice that they’re buff-colored, and usually 2-5 cm in length. Moths depend on their sense of smell for most of the major functions in life. They use it to identify food sources, mates, and communicate about territories or safety. That’s why one of the best ways to keep moths away is with certain scents.

Recognizing an Infestation

Because closet moths are so secretive, you’ll seldom see the moths themselves. Instead, you’ll find signs of them, like webbing in the corners, and holes in your clothing. Adult moths aren’t responsible for holes in the clothing. That all comes from the larvae, so usually people don’t notice a closet moth infestation until after the moth population has gone through a few life cycles.

Preventing a Moth Infestation in Your Closet

In order to prevent a moth infestation, there are some measures that you can take. Even with pest control treatment, these are smart moves to make sure that the population doesn’t make a comeback.

  • Wash clothing before storing them. This will remove any eggs or larvae (often too small for you to spot with the naked eye) from the clothing. It will also remove human scents from sweat, hair, and skin that can attract moths.
  • Store your clothing in airtight containers instead of cardboard boxes when you need to stow them for a long period of time.
  • Use cedar wood in your closet, either in the form of the closet itself, cedar hangers, or cedar mothballs. The oil in cedar is toxic to moth larvae and so it will repel moth populations. You can also use lavender (oil, or simply dried sprigs of the flowers) in your closet to keep moths away.

 

Moths in the Pantry

Moths that are feeding on items in your pantry can be especially hard to get rid of. It’s hard to identify exactly where they’re hiding in an area with so many packages, nooks, and crannies. Moths in the pantry are usually white or grey, and they can be very visible and obnoxious. Because they live in areas where you keep your food supply, it’s not a good idea to use standard pesticides. Instead, take precautions to prevent infestations and call a professional to deal with it at the first signs of an infestation.

Signs of an Infestation

Signs of infestation include webbing in food packages or in food itself. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the signs, and instead you’ll just notice a change in the texture or smell of your food. You might also see signs of larvae, or moths flying around. Watch for webbing in the corners of your closet, or little cocoons hanging from the ceiling that could be egg sacks.

Preventing a Moth Infestation in Your Pantry

The principles behind preventing an infestation in your closet are similar for preventing an infestation in your pantry. Keep the area clean and tidy, and store your food in airtight containers. If you see signs of an infestation, throw out food in open containers, and wash all containers with soap and water. Make sure they fully dry before using them again. Moths thrive in open cereal boxes, ripped flour bags, and even dry dog food.