by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Managing Director of Cleankill (Environmental Services) Ltd, Paul Bates said the company has had more calls about moths in the last few weeks than ever before, and I am not surprised because I have seen masses in my home as well.
“I’ve been working in the pest control industry for nearly three decades and the current levels of moth activity are highly unusual. We are getting calls from offices who are finding them in common areas and also homeowners who are worried about damage to clothing and carpets”.
Mr Bates continued: “Part of the problem in recent years has been a combination of the withdrawal of some of the most effective insecticides, such as Dichlorvos, and the return to fashion of many natural fiber clothes, such as Cashmere, which has also seen a dramatic reduction in cost to the consumer – Cashmere is a favorite foodstuff of clothes moth”.
People can identify adult textile moths – which look like the stored product moths that are found in dry foodstuffs in kitchens – as will often be seen running rather than flying. They are unlike the common garden moths that will come in and fly towards lights and windows. Their favorite diet is the detritus found at the bottom of birds’ nests – a rich source of protein – but they are equally at home in the bottom of a chest of drawers, the darker, warmer and dirtier the better!
The best advice is for people to be careful when storing winter woollies away for the summer, when it arrives, which we all are beginning to doubt. Clothes should be hot washed or dry cleaned prior to being put away and clothes, drawers and wardrobes should be checked before winter storage.
There are good quality bags available from department stores such as John Lewis which clothing is put into – the air is then sucked out using a standard vacuum cleaner hose – these bags give a good level of protection against moth infestation. If bagging is not possible then clothing in drawers should be turned over and moved at least once a month as the moths dislike disturbance and light.
Textile moths are often associated with birds’ nests in loft spaces where the damage causing larvae will feed on bird feathers – from here they will quietly spread unnoticed to other areas of the house.
Mothballs, as far as I concerned, and bits of cedar wood, also might be a good idea to place into drawers and other places where you are storing your (winter) woolen clothes, and clothes made of other natural fibers, in general.