What Are These Moths That Keep Getting Into My Clothes In New York?


November 5, 2021

Have you ever removed a few winter sweaters from a securely stored, airtight bin, only to find them chock-full with holes? Then you’re familiar with the frustrations of clothes moths. Clothes moths tend to leave homeowners head-scratching in frustration. How are these critters able to get inside of a dark, enclosed, sealed area - and even worse, munch away at our clothing? 
 
Simply put, because clothes moths aren’t skilled fliers, they are most often introduced into homes by the homeowners themselves. This is most commonly through second-hand items; a vintage throw blanket purchased from a consignment shop to a bag of hand-me-down clothing from a family member or friend to a well-cared-for antique rug found at a garage sale. Read below for more about clothes moths, how to identify them and the dangers they can pose to New York homeowners, and tips on prevention.

a clothes moth on a carpet

How To Identify Clothes Moths

Clothes moths measure five centimeters in length, at the most, and are beige or buff in color. They tend to avoid light, and thus they can remain undetected for a considerable time. They prefer places that are dark, warm, and humid.

Damage to possessions is caused by clothes moths in the larval stage, which prefer to feed on animal fibers. Adult clothes moths don’t feed at all and usually don’t survive longer than a month. In addition to the clothing itself, clothes moths are attracted to unwashed clothing, bedding, or other items, which carry the scent of body oils and other debris, such as food residue. The lifespan of clothes moths is influenced by factors like temperature and the quality of their food source (your clothing).

What Kind Of Damage Can Clothes Moths Do?

Larval clothes moths prefer to feed on fibers, materials, and fabrics, which include the following:

  • Wool

  • Leather

  • Cashmere

  • Fur

  • Feather

  • Felt

  • Mohair

Some of the items to keep a close watch over include bedding, mainly down comforters, pillows, blankets, jackets, and sweaters, as well as carpet.

Tips On Preventing Clothing Moths

With an eye for what to look for, the best route of resolve is help from the professionals, who can conduct thorough inspections to search for clothes moths and other pests year-round. However, remaining vigilant year-round about the handling and care of your home and items can also provide a defense against these pests.

Here are a few tips:

  • Keep stored clothing and bedding in airtight containers. Even though there’s potential for clothes moths in secured containers, it’s still necessary to keep clothing, bedding, and other fabrics appropriately stored, as this can prevent clothes moths as well as other insects from infesting your possessions. If you suspect an infestation, discard or dry-clean all items immediately. 

  • Vacuum and clean around areas where clothes moths are found. If clothing moths are in your home, it’s essential to frequently clean and vacuum around the areas where they are found - and to be sure not to forget the dark, undisturbed areas where these moths are most often found. 

  • Expose items to light and air. Clothing moths dislike any light or movement, so exposing the container contents to light and airing out closets from time can also help identify and rid these pests.

The professionals at BHB Pest Elimination offer home pest control solutions to eliminate clothing moths and other pests. We provide one-time and annual visits - a total of four per year - under three packages for homeowners in apartments and single-family homes. If you suspect clothing moths or any other pests in your home, give the pros at BHB Pest Elimination a call today.

Tags: cloth moth identification | fabric pest control | cloth moth prevention |

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