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Save Your Clothes! What To Do When Moths Attack Your Wardrobe

Fed up with finding holes in your favourite winter knits? Learn how to put a stop to pesky clothes moths for good.

By Tiffany Loh, 15 April 2016
Save Your Clothes! What To Do When Moths Attack Your Wardrobe

If you’ve opened your wardrobe and discovered that your favourite cashmere sweater is peppered with tiny holes, then we’re sorry to break it to you, but you have a moth problem.

Hair, lint and paper can also serve as a feast for these bugs so make sure you vacuum your floor and wardrobe

While you can’t restore your woollens to their former pristine condition, there are ways to stop clothes moths from munching on them and making the problem even worse.

Find out how you can rid your house of pesky clothes moths and prevent them from causing more chaos in your wardrobe.

What’s Bugging You


The moths that flutter around at night aren’t the same ones that damage your beloved threads. Clothes moths are discreet and don’t like to show their face in the light. But look out for these tell-tale signs of their presence:
 
  • Tiny holes in your clothing
  • Discoloured, dusty or musky smelling clothing
  • Webbing in corners of your wardrobe
 

CLEAN to Make Your Home Bug-Free


Clothes moths lay their eggs in dark spots with plenty of food. Fabrics including wool, feathers, fur, and even cotton, linen and silk, as well as some synthetic fibres all serve as food for moth larvae.

Hair, lint and paper can also serve as a feast for these bugs so make sure you vacuum your floor and wardrobe, and wipe down surfaces thoroughly to keep pests at bay.

Pay extra attention to your floorboards, carpet, air ducts, radiators and any fabric-covered furniture – lint and hair hiding in these areas are goldmines for these sneaky creatures.

To get rid of moths, use pheromone-laced cardboard traps, or make your own with a fly paper and a dab of fish oil. If you have a large infestation, you might want to leave it to the professionals to bring out the big guns.
 

LAUNDER to Make Your Clothing Unappetising


Moths love to eat and lay their eggs on fabrics that have been stained, or have traces of food, beverages, sweat and oil. In many cases you won’t be able to spot or smell these signs so make it a habit to wash or dry-clean worn garments before you store them.

Eggs can’t survive extreme temperatures so if you’re washing your clothing yourself, put them through the dryer (always read the care instructions first) or place your items in the freezer for a few days. If you have a clothing steamer, this is also a great way of ridding your garments of eggs.

Laundering clothing made from delicate materials in between wears can take up time and also be an expense for you, so guard your outfits and remove eggs and larvae by taking your pieces outside and giving them a good brush, especially under collars and along seams.
 

STORE Your Clothing so Bugs Can’t Get In


Moths love humidity so air out your wardrobe or storage area before you store your freshly laundered apparel. If your storage area is near a bathroom, you’ll want to take extra precautions so use a fan to ventilate it properly.

Store out-of-season clothes in airtight plastic containers or resealable plastic bags with cedar or lavender sachets that give off repellent scents to moths. If you have particularly valuable items, it’s best to store them in wooden chests or breathable garment bags as over the years plastic can degrade and discolour fabric.

While many people choose to use mothballs or moth crystals, their unpleasant smell clings to your clothes so you will need to air it out before wearing.

Remember moths prefer the dark so look at alternative storage spaces in your home, or use low-energy light bulbs to brighten your wardrobe.

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