How to deal with Clothing Moths

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Clothing Moths Damage

Clothing moths can do thousands of pounds in damage in your cupboards and throughout your home if they’re detected too late. In addition to ruined clothing that will need to be disposed of, you may also need to have all remaining clothing dry cleaned. And for particularly bad infestations of clothing moths, professional pest control services may be required.

What are clothes moths

Tineola bisselliella, also known as the common clothes moths, are small 0.5-inch moths that are beige or buff-coloured. They have narrow wings that are fringed with small hairs. Unlike some other types of moths, clothes moths are seldom seen because they avoid light. They prefer dark, undisturbed areas such as closets, basements, and attics.

What damage can clothes moths do

Suffering with a clothing moth infestation can be rather costly as they destroy your most expensive clothing. Clothing moths will only eat fabric which contains keratin, such as :

  • Wool
  • Cashmere
  • Silk
  • Fur
  • Leather
Clothing moths can also damage carpets, rugs, curtains, and furniture upholstery. Any fabric made from natural textures or that is blended with wool.
Where do clothes moths come from

Clothing moths can enter your home on a piece of clothing you were given. Buying something from a second-hand clothing store can also transport the larvae into your home, or even from purchasing a rug that wasn’t properly stored by the retailer. They also travel by way of items kept in storage spaces, sheds, or garages, and through small cracks and crevices in the home. They can even fly in through an open door, window, or a damaged screen.

How to eradicate clothes moths from the home

Preventing further damage from clothes moths requires a thorough inspection to locate all infested areas. The primary source may be a piece of clothing at the back of a closet or old fabric in the basement or attic such as rugs or carpets. Larvae prefer to feed in dark, undisturbed areas where wool and other susceptible items are stored for long periods. When inspecting clothing, pay attention to seams, folds, and creases (e.g. cuffs and collars) where larvae often prefer to feed.

Step by Step Action Plan


  • Place moth traps in the rooms with the suspected infestation to monitor the presence of the moths, and narrow down what part of the room the infestation is in.
  • Vacuum clean the entire house and pay extra attention to detail in the room with the suspected infestation, including cleaning all clothing kept in cupboards & drawers.
  • Spray all items of clothing with aerosol mothproofer
  • Clean all woollens and furs and store them in sealed polythene bags in a cool room
  • Hang moth repellents such as cedar wood or anti-moth sachets, in wardrobes


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