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Overview

There are three common species of moth that are seen as pests in homes - the Common Clothes Moth, the Brown House Moth and the White-shouldered House Moth.

The House Moth is the smallest of the three moths growing to around 4-7mm and is pale beige in colour with no pattern on its body or wings.

The Brown House Moth is around 8mm in length and is uniformly shiny gold flecked with dark brown.

The White-shouldered House Moth grows to around 7-9mm, has pale gold wings flecked with dark brown and a very obvious white head and shoulders.

Importance

It is the larvae (caterpillars) of each of these moths which cause damage by eating through stored foods, clothing, furniture fabrics and carpets, causing contamination and physical damage. The adult females are attracted to materials made of natural fibres contaminated with food and perspiration and will lay their eggs amongst the fabric where the larvae can feed. The adult moth doesn't usually fly and tends to move by running occasionally or jumping. It does not generally feed and has a very short life of anywhere between one to four weeks. Moths are also attracted to stored food products and can be found in food residues and dusts.

How do I get rid of them?

  • You can try and prevent a problem with moths in the first instance by ensuring clothes in particular are clean before putting them back into wardrobes and drawers.
  • Regularly clean clothes, particularly those made of natural fibres and store woollens in sealed plastic bags or tightly closed cupboards.
  • Dispose of any food stuffs contaminated with moths and thoroughly clean up all spilled foods, ensuring any storage cupboards are completely clean before replacing with non-infested food.
  • Moth larvae can't survive outside and in bright light. You can air clothes, blankets and easily removable furnishings outside on a sunny day and give them a good shake or brush before you put them away again.
  • In general, good hygiene is essential, along with the use of a vacuum cleaner to remove the larvae and their cases - this will greatly assist control measures.
  • Carpets can be treated with a residual insecticide specifically made for this purpose. You may find damage to carpets under heavy furniture and spraying with the insecticide on a regular basis should also help – always follow manufacturers instructions carefully.
  • High risk fabrics can have moth proofers applied to them – always follow manufacturers instructions carefully.

Unfortunately, we don't offer a service to deal with House Moths. We  We are unable to recommend local pest control firms, but suggest using a service search engine such as Yell.com. We advise you to get two or three quotes to obtain a competitive price.