You can use closet moth traps to effectively deal with closet moths – in this article we will tell you how and where to get started.
It’s time to get ready for the day! You go ahead to open your closet to pick out an outfit. Instead, you’re met with a tiny flying insect flailing past you.
Looking at your clothes, you start to notice all the holes your precious garments are riddled with. The culprit? Pesky, creamy-colored Clothes moth.
In this post, we guide each step of the way through the process of eliminating closet moths with the aid of traps. We also discuss several tips and tricks that can help prevent future infestations, so stick around.
- 1 Clothes Moth Traps – Getting Started
- 2 Making Your Move: Moth Prevention
- 3 Clothes Moth Prevention
- 4 Clothes Moth Traps – Conclusion
Clothes Moth Traps – Getting Started
Before we discuss how to make and use clothes moth traps, we feel the need to point out that the process of eliminating closet moths can be long and laborious.
However, by closely following the information we’re about to share, you can rest assured that these pests in your closet will be gone in no time.
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Is It Pantry Moth or Clothing Moth?
Before you start the elimination process, you should first make sure that you’re actually dealing with textile moths.
Adult clothes moths are either gold or brown, depending on their species. They’re equipped with fraying wings and a head of wispy hair.
The two most common closet moth species are the webbing and the case-making moths. Differences between these species are mostly found in their appearance. However, both can cause the same amount of damage.
Fear the Larvae!
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the adult male moths that you should be worried about; it’s the moth larvae. The larvae are the newly hatched pests. They’re worm-shaped, cream-colored, and have brown heads.
The adults don’t eat clothes; they only lay their eggs on them. The larvae are the clothes-eating stage of the clothes moth’s life cycle. They’re tiny caterpillars that feast on clothes, carpeting, and upholstered furniture.
The larvae mostly feast on your silks, wools, and animal-sourced fibers. This essentially means that your clothes provide sustenance for their growth. The perfect breeding environment for a clothes moth includes moisture, humidity, and darkness.
Clothes moth traps can help get rid of clothes moths by attracting and trapping the adults before they have a chance to lay eggs. Pantry moths are a different kind of moth altogether; they’re attracted to food, not clothes. However, pantry moth traps can also be used to get rid of clothes moths.
Why Do Moths Eat Natural Fibers?
It’s not a pantry moth! It’s a clothes moth! There are a few different types of clothes moths, but the most common is the webbing clothes moth. These pests are attracted to clothes made of fibers like wool, and they will feed on the fabric, causing damage.
One of the main reasons that clothes moths are attracted to certain clothes is because they contain sweat and body oils. These pests are also attracted to dirty clothes, as they can find food sources like skin cells and hair.
Another reason that clothes moths are attracted to certain clothes is because they contain pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals that are released by the body, and they can attract mates. Some clothes moths are able to sense pheromones from up to a mile away!
Clothes moth larvae are attracted to animal based fibres like wool, cashmere, and silk because they provide nutrients that the larvae need to survive. These same sorts of materials are also found in human hair and skin, which make up a large part of dust around the house.
So if you’re finding clothes moths in your home, it’s likely that they’re attracted to the dust and other debris that contains keratin.
How to Get Rid of Moth in Clothes
If you think you have a clothes moth infestation, there are a few things you can do. One is to set up clothes moth traps. These clothes moth traps use pheromones to attract these pests, and they can be very effective in getting rid of an infestation.
You can also try to eliminate the food sources that clothes moths are attracted to. This means keeping your clothes clean and free of sweat and body oils. You should also vacuum regularly, as this will help to get rid of any skin cells or hair that they might be feeding on.
The Breeding Cycle of Clothes Moths
Clothes moth go through four stages in their breeding cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult.
The female moths lay eggs on clothes made of wool, fur, feathers or cotton. The larvae that hatch from the eggs spin cocoons and feed on the fabric, which is why clothes moths are such a nuisance.
The time it takes for larvae to develop into adults depends on the temperature and humidity levels they are exposed to after hatching from their eggs.
Temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels between 75 and 80 percent are ideal, allowing them to go from egg to adult moth in less than a month.
If clothes moths are left undisturbed and have access to the right food source, they can stay in their damaging larval stage for two years or more. This is more likely to happen in cooler, less humid conditions. This means that your favourite clothes and carpets are at risk.
So, what is the answer to the question, “How long do clothes moth larvae live?”
It can last anywhere from one to 24 months, depending on the circumstances.
Normally, conditions vary by season, with fewer adult clothing moths flying and slower larval growth during the cold winter months.
How Big are Textile Moths Larvae
These larvae are small and can be difficult to see, especially if they are newly hatched from microscopic eggs, enmeshed in garments with a loose weave, or have dug their way deep into the fabric.
The textile moths larvae are between 14 and 12 inches long when fully grown and before pupation. They have a creamy body and a deeper brown head, as you can see in the photo.
In this image, you can see the relative size of the developed larva compared to the weave of the knitwear to get a sense of scale.
How Many Moths Can One Female Lay in Her Lifetime?
It depends on the species, but anywhere from 30 to 300! No wonder getting rid of them can be so difficult, but is not impossible with pheromone trap and other fabric pests and mothprevention moth traps.
These things work like pantry traps, and they can catch moths and flying moths, and reduce the moth population effectively. If you suspects these pests in your home, it is a good idea to look into clothes moth activity and start laying traps successfully.
For moth prevention, it is a great idea to catch these pests and set powerful clothes moth traps in infested items where suspect these pests are seemingly laying eggs.
This will help prevent more of these pests from producing more larvae, stop the breeding cycle, and eliminate the common clothes moth population.
What are Webbing Clothes Moths?
The webbing clothes moth is a small, winged insect that is often found in homes. These pests are attracted to fabrics made of wool, silk, and fur.
They feed on these materials, and their larvae can cause extensive damage to clothing and other items made of these fabrics.
Webbing clothes moth infestations are most common in warm, humid environments. If you think you have a webbing clothes moth problem, it’s important to act quickly to prevent these fabric pests from causing further damage to your clothing.
Webbing clothes moths typically live for about two months. However, the clothes moth larvae can survive for several months, and this is the stage of the life cycle when they cause the most damage.
What Do Webbing Clothes Moth Look Like?
If you think you might have webbing clothes moth eggs in your home, don’t panic! These small, off-white eggs are easy to spot if you know what to look for. Usually, you’ll find them in groups on fabrics made of wool or cotton.
The eggs are attached to the fabric with a sticky substance, and they’re often found in hidden places like closets or storage boxes. If you suspect you have webbing clothes moth eggs in your home, it’s best to have them identified by a professional.
Once they’ve been confirmed, you can take steps to get rid of them and protect your fabrics from further damage.
Common Types of Webbing Clothes Moth
There are two main types of webbing clothes moths: the common webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) and the case-bearing clothes moth (Tinea pellionella). Both of these pests are typically golden-brown in color and have a wingspan of about 1/2 inch.
The common webbing clothes moth is the most destructive of the two, as its larvae are able to spin webbing that they use to protect themselves while they feed on fabric.
What are Casemaking Clothes Moth?
The casemaking clothes moth is a small, winged creature that is often found in homes. These moths are attracted to clothing and fabrics, and they can cause damage to these materials.
The casemaking clothes moth is particularly fond of wool and fur, and will often make its home in these materials. The adult male moths are typically brown or tan in color, while the female moths are generally white.
The casemaking clothes moth can be a nuisance to homeowners, as they can cause damage to clothing and other fabrics. While the casemaking clothing moth is less prevalent than the webbing clothes moth and has a lower economic impact, it can be a tough insect to eliminate.
Casemaking clothes moth infestations are common in older homes with bent doorframes or siding. Modern dwellings may also provide the ideal environment for these pests to thrive.
What are Carpet Moths?
A carpet moth infestation can be identified by threadbare patches on rugs and carpets, particularly in underused rooms, dark locations, or under long-standing furniture. You might also find larval cases strewn about the room’s corners, as well as adult moths hopping around.
Clothes moths and carpet or textile moths are the same species, and they both attack garments and carpets. Depending on where they are found and what fabrics they attack, they are called ‘clothing’ or ‘carpet’ moths.
One of a great way to get rid of these types of clothes moths is to use carpet moth traps. These are an easy and effective way to get rid of carpet moths. They work by attracting these pests with a pheromone lure, then trapping them on a sticky surface.
Carpet moth traps are safe to use around children and pets, and they don’t require the use of chemicals or pesticides. You can find carpet moth traps at most hardware stores or online.
Are Carpet Moths The Same As Carpet Beetles?
No, carpet beetles and clothes moths are not the same. These insects are actually a type of beetle that feeds on fibers like wool, while clothes moths are a type of moth that typically feeds on clothing made of natural fibers.
Carpet beetles are particularly adept at doing damage to carpets and other fabrics. These pests are small, round, and often have striped patterns on their backs. While adult species don’t feed on fabrics, their larvae enjoy nothing more than snacking on woolen items, silk, and even leather.
This feeding can cause serious damage to fabric goods and can be difficult to control. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help get rid of these insects and keep them from coming back.
While both types of insects can be problematic pests, they typically require different control methods.
Are Clothes Moths the Same as Pantry Moths?
No, clothes moths and pantry moths, like Indian meal moths, are not the same. Clothes moths are attracted to fabric and clothing made from natural materials like wool, fur, and feathers. Pantry moths, like an Indian meal moth, are attracted to food – particularly grains, cereals, and nuts.
Both types of these pests can cause damage to your belongings, but clothes moths are generally considered more destructive since clothes moth larvae can eat through fabric. So, while clothes moths and pantry moths, Mediterranean flour moths, may seem similar at first glance, they are actually quite different.
Is the Brown House Moth the Same as a Clothes Moth?
There are many different types of these pests, and clothes moths are just one kind. There are also brown house moths, which are often confused with clothes moths. So, are brown house moths the same as clothes moths?
No, brown house moths are not the same as clothes moths. Clothes moths are attracted to clothing and other fabric items, while brown house moths prefer to feast on food sources like cereals, grains, and even pet food.
Brown house moths can also be a nuisance because they’re known to fly around in houses, whereas clothes moths tend to stay closer to their fabric homes.
So if you’re dealing with a moth problem, it’s important to figure out which kind you’re dealing with so you can take the appropriate steps to get rid of them.
Do Clothes Moth Live in Mattresses?
The answer is a resounding no! While clothes moths may be attracted to the fabric of your mattress, they do not live in them. In fact, clothes moths are more likely to infest areas where there is a lot of lint or other fabric debris present.
This means that clothes moth traps are an effective way to keep these pests out of your bedroom. It’s another matter when it comes to moth larvae.
While clothes moths are not known to live in mattresses, but their larvae could infest the mattress for up to 2 1/2 years before they turn into adult moths.
Control Infestations | Detecting Clothes Moths
Clothes moths can be easily detected through various pieces of evidence. They love dark and humid areas, which can be found in your closet or basement. They also love dwelling in clothes that contain our sweat, food, and bodily odors.
Signs of a Moth Problem
If you think clothes moths may be the culprits eating away at your favorite sweater, there are a few key signs to look for:
- Small, silvery-white pests fluttering around clothes or fabric. These are usually adult male moths searching for a mate.
- Tiny brownish or tan larvae crawling on clothes or fabric.
- Small holes in clothes or fabric.
- Small cocoons attached to clothes or fabric.
- Silky furrows appear on wool clothing
- Clothing with odd-looking holes
- Excessively shedding furs
- Tiny tubes attached to fabrics
- Crusty coatings on rugs, curtains, and garments
If you spot any of these signs, it’s time to take action! Don’t panic though, clothes moths are relatively easy to get rid of.
Making Your Move: Moth Prevention
If you suspect you have a webbing clothes moth infestation, it’s important to inspect your clothing for signs of damage. Look for small holes in fabric, as well as webbing or cocoons attached to clothing. You may also see the adult moths flying around your home or landing on clothing.
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If you find any evidence of webbing clothes moths, it’s important to remove infested clothing from your home and wash it in hot water to kill the larvae. You may also need to treat your home with an insecticide to get rid of the pests.
Webbing clothes moths can cause a lot of damage to your clothing, so it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of an infestation.
Here are some fool-proof methods to get rid of the fabric-nibblers once and for all.
Commercial Clothes Moth Traps
One of the best ways to get rid of a closet moth infestation is to use commercial non toxic pheromone traps or powerful clothes moth traps. They’re basically a means of attracting and entrapping adult males. Luckily, they work for several pests and other species as well.
The idea of the moth trap is quite simple. A clothes moth trap is similar to a fly trap, where you peel the clothes moth trap strips and expose the odorous, sticky side. That side of these pheromone traps has all the moth attractant you need to entrap the male moths in your closet.
Smarter designs of these clothes moth traps are available as well, where the sticky sheets of a clothes moth trap are encased in cardboard boxes. You simply hang the box of the clothes moth traps, leaving the sticky side exposed to trap the insects inside.
After taking hold of the male moths in your closet, you’ll be sure to hitch the pesky pest population living in your closet. Female moths can’t live for long without reproducing.
Using Moth Balls for Catching Moths
If you’ve ever had clothing moths wreak havoc on your wardrobe, you know how frustrating and difficult they can be to get rid of.
These are a common solution for dealing with these pests, but many people don’t realize that there are different types of balls and each one works in a different way.
These things typically contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, both of which are strong pesticides.
These chemicals work by killing the insects and their larvae, disrupting the breeding cycle and preventing them from laying eggs. They can be effective at keeping these pests away, but they can also be harmful to humans and pets if inhaled.
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Place Traps: Alternative to Moth Balls
An alternative to these balls is a pheromone trap or other powerful clothes moth traps, which uses a synthetic form of the moth’s sex hormone to attract male moths into the trap where they are then killed.
Typically, a pheromone lure doesn’t use any toxic chemicals, making it safer for your family and your home. It’s also a great option for catching these pests and ensuring moth prevention.
Cedar wood is another effective moth repellent. The scent of cedar is unpleasant to these pests and will deter them from nesting in your clothes or other stored belongings.
Cedar chests are a popular way to protect clothing and other items from these pests, but you can also use cedar hangers and cedar sachets instead to deal with your moth problem.
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Before using pheromone traps, there are a couple of things you should know first.
Firstly, don’t use too many traps; one or two should be sufficient. If you use too many, you’ll end up confusing these pests, deterring them away from the traps.
Secondly, moth traps are very common household pest control products, so you may find traps for pantry moths, carpet moths, and other moth species; all of which have varying chemicals in their ingredients. So, be sure to buy a trap that’s intended for closet moths.
You can easily buy a non toxic clothes moth trap online or at your nearest hardware store. Here are some of the highest-rated products you can purchase online:
- BioCare Clothes Moth Sticky Traps
- Pre-assembled sticky traps with pheromone lures
- Attracts adult male webbing clothes moths--will not attract pantry moths
- Signals when an infestation is present; does not control the larvae that feed on clothing
- Pro-pest Clothes Moth Trap
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- Killigan’s Premium Clothing Moth Traps
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You can shop for these clothes moth traps guilt-free because they’re all non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
How to Use Clothing Moth Traps
If you’re worried about clothing moths damaging your clothes, you can set up non toxic clothing moth traps. These traps use pheromones to attract male moths, which then get stuck in the trap and can’t mate with female clothes moths.
This eventually reduces the population of clothing moths. The process is practically the same as setting up a pantry moths trap. Here’s how to set up and use clothing moth traps or pheromone traps.
- First, identify where you think the clothes moths are coming from. This will help you determine where to place the clothes moths traps.
- Remove protective paper of the clothes moth trap, and place the clothes moth traps in areas where these pests are likely to be, such as in closets or near stored clothing.
- The sticky glue of the clothes moth traps will trap the male moths. These clothes moth traps have pheromones that lure the male moths and prevent them from mating with female clothes moths.
- Check the non toxic clothes moth traps regularly and replace them as needed.
- When you catch clothing moths in the traps, dispose of them properly so they can’t escape and continue breeding.
DIY Closet Moth Traps
If you’re not into the use of harmful disinfectants and chemicals, then you should definitely try making your own DIY clothes moth traps.
Making your own moth trap is a hassle-free process. All you have to do is grab a piece of paper and brush both sides with your choice of edible oil, such as fish oil. Then, hang the paper and wait for the moth trap to do its thing.
You can avoid a sticky situation and fold the paper trap into a tent and use a string to keep it in place with high moth activity. Also, you can do this trick with pheromone traps.
You can also use a mixture of molasses and vinegar to attract and eliminate male moths. One cup of molasses mixed with two cups of vinegar should do the trick.
Note that while DIY clothes moth traps might yield some good results, it’s always best to use them with other prevention methods. More on prevention shortly.
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In addition to the use of clothes moth traps, it’s best to make use of deterrents to yield the best results. The first option you’re bound to encounter when it comes to natural moth traps is cedar.
You can find cedar deterrents in several options: blocks, chips, and balls. Note also that cedar offers the added benefit of keeping other insects at bay.
The natural cleaning proponent, vinegar, can also do wonders in the fight against these pests. Simply spritzing and wiping vinegar all throughout your closet will be sure to drive those bugs away.
Other natural options can include lavender and cloves. You can combine both herbs and put them in mesh sachets. It’ll help deter most insects and keep your closet smelling fresh.
While these options are as green as they come, keep in mind that they’re merely deterrent measures, meaning you’ll have to combine them with other options, like pheromone traps.
Clothes Moth Prevention
To fully prevent another closet infestation, you need to be consistent with your methods. Apart from trapping, you also need to take more measures to fully break the cycle. Again it is important to get rid of male moths to break the breeding cycle.
Clean Your Closet
- Make sure to vacuum your closet from top to bottom and don’t be complacent; get into every nook and cranny! Vacuuming and cleaning your closet regularly is key to preventing a recurrent infestation.
- Keep your closet moving. These pests like the calmness and stillness of your closet, so be sure to rile them up with some ruffling around.
Air Out Your Clothes
- You should only return clean clothes to your closet. Before putting away recently worn garments, leave them on a hanger outside the closet for 24-48 hours.
- Manage your clothes storage properly. For instance, you can vacuum-seal seasonal clothes, like winter clothes in the summer and vice versa. Make sure to use plastic seals, since clothes moths can chew through cloth bags as well.
- Air out your closet every once in a while. Clothes moths are not fond of light and fresh air.
Wash Your Clothes
Take all your clothes out from the closet and wash them thoroughly. Although washing your clothes will kill larvae, it is unlikely to be an effective remedy for the types of items that will be used as food.
To kill larvae and eggs, use the hottest wash setting; this is more commonly used for white cottons. Cotton, on the other hand, lacks the crucial keratin. Wool and silk clothing, which do, will be damaged if washed at those temperatures.
Dry Cleaning and Deep Freezing
Dry cleaning is the most common option for killing larvae and eggs, but it comes at a price, and you should inform your dry cleaner that your garments may contain moth eggs and larvae.
Although most larvae would die from a thorough wash, some might still survive, which is why some experts recommend freezing your clothing. Larvae die in sub-zero temperatures.
If you want to save money on dealing with larvae, deep freezing is a preferable option. Leave no trace of these larvae in any garment to avoid a recurrence infestation.
If done correctly, freezing will kill clothing larvae and eggs. It is the most cost-effective technique for dealing infestation at first, but keep in mind that even if the larvae and eggs are killed, they will remain in the clothing, so you may want to wash those particular items to eradicate them completely.
Clothes moths can be killed by washing clothes in hot water, but this may damage delicate fabrics. Steaming clothes may also kill clothes moths, but it is not a guaranteed method.
While clothes moths are attracted to dirty clothes, washing your clothes will not kill all of the larvae. The hottest wash setting is most effective in killing the larvae and eggs, but this temperature can damage wool and silk clothing.
Steaming clothes can help as part of a larger treatment plan, but it is not guaranteed to destroy all moth larvae.
Check for Infestations Regularly
- Always check for infestations. Even if you don’t see any of the insects outside because the temperature has fallen, the damaging larvae will be devouring your garments in centrally heated rooms in mid-winter.
- If you think you see in your clothing, take a closer look. The size of the larvae can depend on how old they are and the temperature and humidity of their surroundings.
- These larvae are small and sometimes buried in the fibers of your garment, so inspect your clothing thoroughly.
Never underestimate the power of simple prevention measures. Maintaining a clean closet by following these steps will give you much-needed protection from any cloth-eating bug.
Clothes Moth Traps – Conclusion
Finding holes in your valuable clothes is always upsetting. Ridding your closet of clothes moths can be stressful at times, but simply abiding by some of the pest control and preventative measures mentioned in this article will yield encouraging results. We wish you well in your battle against the clothes moths!
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