Moths are one of the most common pests found in the UK. While they aren’t vectors for transmitting diseases like other pests, they can create numerous problems in both businesses and homes.
The biggest problem with moths is the damage they cause to fabrics and foods. Having one or two moths in your property is nothing to worry about. But if they are given the opportunity, they will reproduce and start to cause serious issues.
Most species of moth are completely harmless; they don’t spread diseases as other pests do. However, they cause other problems for homes and businesses. They can physically damage numerous materials, especially textiles and food products. An infestation can also be difficult to shift once it has taken home; they can lay their larvae in hard-to-find places.
Once a moth has created their nest inside your home, they will set about demolishing anything made from certain materials. Clothes moths and carpet moths will both make their way through carpets, clothes, and even leather and fur items like there’s no tomorrow. Similarly, moth caterpillars consume keratin, a protein found in lots of natural materials. This can present a serious risk to more delicate items. If you own a business that stocks expensive fabrics, moths are one of your worst enemies.
There are more than 2,500 species of moths found in the UK. Fortunately, only a handful of these tend to cause any serious problems for homes or businesses. Most of the damage they cause is limited to fabric and textiles, but they should also be kept away from food. Different species of moth have different needs and wants. Each species is attracted to a different set of materials. Defeating a moth infestation requires you to know which type of moth you have in your property.
If you suspect a moth infestation in your home or business, you should call in a professional pest control service to deal with the issue robustly and promptly.
The majority of the damage that moths caused is caused by the larvae rather than the mature adults. There are four species of moth that you need to worry about in the UK. These four species are the ones that will make their way through certain materials at a prodigious rate. Their larvae can be very problematic for any home or business that contains delicate or expensive fabrics.
You can often deduce which type of moth you are dealing with by looking at the shape of the holes they leave in clothes.
Common clothes moth larvae: these moths lay cream coloured eggs, hatching into white larvae. The holes they leave in natural fabrics are irregular in shape.
Case bearing clothes moth larvae: the larvae are white with a brown head. This moth creates more and more irregular shaped holes in garments when it's 8 through them.
Brown house moth larvae: this is the most common type of house moth. It is attracted to animal-based material, usually furs and leathers.
White-shouldered house moth larvae: this type of moth is less damaging to textiles but will scavenge on a wide range of foodstuffs. The holes they leave behind are small and circular. This type of moth is relatively rare compared to the others on this list.
The most obvious signs of a moth infestation, other than a prevalence of the insects themselves, is the damage that they cause to clothes, fabrics and carpets. However, these are not the only telltale signs of a moth infestation. If you notice the larvae, which resemble small maggots, this is a dead giveaway. There are also silken tubes, or cases, that the larvae live in until they have matured. The larvae will emerge from pupae, silk cocoons, before they reach maturity.
Carpet beetles rather than moths can also cause damage to carpets and. If you suspect that you have moths in your property, you should consult with a professional pest control expert to confirm the issue.
There are several things that any homeowner can do to keep moths out of their residence. The range of preventative DIY products on the market means homeowners who are concerned about a potential moth infestation can take steps to prevent them.
However, no matter what steps you take, it is very difficult to prevent moths entirely. For one thing, they are attracted to artificial lights. If you leave the lights on in your home and your windows open, it is quite likely that at least a few moths will make their way inside. Keeping windows closed wherever possible, or making sure to draw your curtains when you leave lights on will both go a long way to keeping moths at bay.
Keeping your clothes and other vulnerable fabrics protected will also deny moths the opportunity to feast on them. There are several sprays on the market you can use to deter moths from flying on to your clothes and laying their larvae. These are among the most effective preventative measures available to you. However, if an infestation is already present in your home, it is too late for preventative measures. At that point, you need to call in a professional pest control service.
You can also install special fly screens on your windows. As the name suggests, these screens are effective barriers preventing moths and other insects from freely flying in and out of your property. If you don't want to install screens on your windows, keeping your curtains and windows closed is the next best option.
Regularly vacuuming your carpets, and other fabrics if you deem it necessary, will remove any moth eggs and prevent larvae from hatching and consuming them. Make sure that you hoover everywhere, especially hard to reach and out of the way crevices where moth eggs could otherwise thrive.
Keeping your most valuable textiles and fabrics protected in special sealed bags is the best defence against mobs. Of course, this can be difficult if you are operating a business and you need to display the clothes. Before putting any clothes into storage, make sure to clean them thoroughly.
What To Do About A Moth Infestation
Fortunately, moths are not carriers of diseases and pose no risk to human health. The problems that moths cause are limited to the damage that they cause to clothes, carpets and other materials. To minimise the damage moths cause to your home or business, you should nip the infestation in the bud as quickly as possible.
If you have confirmed the presence of moths in your property, changing your vacuum bags regularly and making sure to empty them outside will prevent you from inadvertently spreading to the larvae and eggs around your property.
As well as vacuuming, regularly cleaning your fabrics will also help to remove any eggs or larvae that might be present. Any soft furnishings can serve as a suitable habitat for moths to lay their eggs. Washing them regularly, and ensuring that you keep your clothes clean will help to reduce the prevalence of moths. Any clothes or fabrics that might be stained with urine or sweat will attract moths as they can derive additional nutrients from these. Make sure that you wash and clean any clothes before putting them back in your wardrobe.
How Can We Help?
Bon Accord can assist any homeowner or business in removing moths from their property. Regardless of whether you are dealing with carpet moths or clothes moths, we will be able to immediately diagnose the issue and come up with an effective treatment plan.
Clothing and textile businesses can be devastated by a moth infestation. Even minor damage from a moth can mean writing off an entire piece of clothing or outfit. Business owners end up in the difficult position of having to either write-off the damaged stock or pay to have it repaired and restored. Neither of these scenarios is ideal; getting rid of the moths should be a top priority. But if you don’t know what type of moth you are dealing with or what the most effective method of removing it is, you run the risk of recurring infestations.
By the time our test control technicians are through with your home or business, we guarantee that there won’t be a single moth remaining. We will work to thoroughly clean your entire property, ensuring that we get every last one of the moth eggs present.
Once the infestation has been dealt with properly, we will then provide you with the advice you need to maintain a moth free environment well into the future. With the right advice, keeping moths at bay is easy.
Anyone who suspects they have a moth infestation in their home or place of business should contact us today. We will send out a technician to make an assessment and get a lay of the land. Once we know what we are dealing with, we can help you decide the best way of proceeding so that your property is free from moths for good.
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