Clothes moths - what are they?
The clothes moth is also known as clothing moth or webbing clothes moth. Its proper name is Tineola bisselliella. It mostly eats garments, especially wool. When the population is large enough, the kind of fabric doesn’t really matter. This pest will gladly eat anything it can find in your closet.
What do clothes moths look like?
The clothes moth is simply a tiny moth. Its colors are grey, beige and brown, and the insect is covered with hair. As for the clothes moths size, they are no larger than 1 cm.
If you notice small moths in your wardrobe, closet or drawers with clothing - don’t ignore them. They might be clothes moths that only wait to make a feast on your garments.
Where do clothes moths come from?
Are you wondering how did clothes moths got into your house? There are a few possibilities. Excessive dust and dirt pose the biggest threat, in this case. Perhaps you have a long-forgotten closet you haven’t cleaned in a long time - this is where the pests might have developed. But it’s just one of the options.
You could have brought the clothes moths into your house, not even knowing about it. For instance, they might have flown out of your neighbour’s apartment - into the hall, and then you unknowingly have let them into your place. What’s more, they can also fly in through an open window.
Do you buy at antiques fair sometimes? Various furniture pieces or interior decorations with material or fur elements might contain moths. Not checking them thoroughly and avoiding cleaning and disinfection before bringing the items home is a perfect recipe for a clothes moths infestation.
Are clothes moths larvae as dangerous as adult insects?
Clothes moths larvae are small beige creatures with brown heads. You have time to get rid of them until they become slightly red - it means they have matured and became real pests. If you eliminate clothes moths eggs or freshly hatched larvae - your chances for getting rid of the problem increase.
Clothes moths vs pantry moths - are they the same?
Although clothes moths look very similar to pantry moths, they are completely different insects. What’s important, their diets are quite distinct. Pantry moths don’t find clothes a good food source at all. Likewise, clothes moths don’t care for items like grains, flour and rice.
Are you wondering how to properly identify clothes moths? It’s very easy - pay attention to the place they inhabit. If you find the insects in the closet or dresser, you can be sure they are clothes moths.
How to get rid of clothes moths? Is it difficult?
Clothes moths aren’t very difficult house bugs to get rid of. Keep in mind, though, that one insect can lay even 200 eggs. Knowing this, you can imagine how quickly they can multiply. If you manage to eliminate the nest when the larvae aren’t mature yet - the process will be quicker and easier. But it doesn’t mean you cannot fight the adult insects - although it’s much more difficult.
If you want to get rid of or prevent clothes moths, you can get store-bought insecticides. But consider learning how to get rid of clothes moths naturally with proven and well known home remedies. Such methods are less invasive and equally effective.
Pine and lavender - an effective clothes moths treatment
Lavender has been known for years as a powerful clothes moths remedy. Its scent repels the insects from getting into your closet and also makes your clothes smell nice, which is an extra perk. You can find lavender-smelling packets in stores - but if you want to be more eco-friendly, you can make the repellents yourself. Just plant some lavender in your garden or on your balcony, cut the flowers when they bloom and dry them. Then, put them, e.g., in a cotton pouch. Put such packets in the closet and drawers, and you can forget about the insects.
Using pine needles is a very similar method - but you don’t have to dry them. Just cut a few small branches, pack them into a pouch and put into the closet just like the lavender. Using this remedy, your clothes will smell equally good.
Essential oils for clothes moths - thyme and citruses
Citrus fruits effectively repel clothes moths. You can use them in a few different ways. The easiest one involves peeling a lemon or an orange, putting the peels along with some cloves in pouches and hiding them in closets.
You can also use a store-bought lemon essential oil. Clothes moths hate its smell. Simply cut a piece of cardboard and infuse it with the oil. Place the element in the closet or hang it on a clothes hanger.
As for essential oils, thyme oil is equally effective. Use it in exactly the same way as described above. Keep in mind, though, that it has a peculiar herbal smell. While clothes moths don’t like it, the same goes for some people. For this reason, it’s not used very often.
Some use other essential oils to get rid of clothes moths. You can try camphor or mint oil. If you like such scents - it’s a perfect choice.
Horse chestnuts - an effective clothes moths remedy
Using horse chestnuts is a very old and forgotten method for clothes moths. While they won’t eliminate adult insects, they work perfectly as a preventive measure to repel the bugs from making nests in your clothes. You can put a few chestnuts in drawers and pockets of sweaters and cloaks.
If you pick this method to fight clothes moths, consider using something extra. You can, for instance, add a piece of soap to the chestnuts. Ordinary yellow soap, as well as scented soaps, will do.
📍 How to recognize clothes moths?
Clothes moths look very similar to pantry moths - they are brown-grey. They hatch from beige larvae with brown heads.
📍 Where do moths eating clothes come from?
Clothes moths are attracted to dirt - a dusty and uncleaned closet is all it takes sometimes. In some cases, they might simply fly through an open window. You might also bring them with old, used furniture, e.g. sofas.
📍 Getting rid of clothes moths - how to do it?
Clothes moths can be killed both with store-bought products and home remedies. You can use products like mothballs, for instance. Other methods involve lavender, essential oils and soap.
📍 How to protect clothes from moths?
Lavender is the most effective way to prevent clothes moths from getting into your closet. Citruses and essential oils, e.g., orange oil work very well, too.