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Moths

Moths are seen as pests due to the damage their larvae cause to materials, textiles and stored products. Unlike other pests, moths pose you no health risks.

Once inside your home or business, moths can severely damage natural fibres in carpets, clothes, fabrics, fur and even leather. Moth caterpillars cause the damage by eating the protein (keratin) found in natural materials like wool, cotton and silk. This puts your delicate items at particular risk of damage.

Signs of a Moth Infestation

The presence of moths in your home can be frustrating. Not just because of the damage they can cause, but they are likely to cause damage to clothes and fabric that you may have an emotional attachment to. Nobody wants to find moth damage to their carefully stored wedding dress, or holes in a quilted throw handed down from a beloved grandmother. The damage these pests can cause to carpets, curtains and upholstery can also become very costly.

What Damage can Moths Cause?

FACT: Moths don’t actually eat fabric, their main purpose is to reproduce. It is their larvae that do all the damage.

There are 4 common species of moth found in homes that can cause problems and these moths have differing preferences for materials. This means their larvae cause slightly different damage to fabrics and materials, for example:

  • Common clothes moth larvae cause irregular shaped holes in fabrics
  • Case bearing clothes moth larvae create smaller, more regular shaped holes in garments
  • Brown house moth larvae tend to prefer animal-based materials like feathers and leather
  • White shouldered house moth larvae scavenge on a wide range of food, so are a little less damaging to textiles

The first thing most people notice is the damage caused to clothes, fabrics or carpets but there are other indicators of a moth infestation:

  • Small maggot-like larvae (moth caterpillars).
  • Silken tubes or cases in which the moth larvae live.
  • Pupae (silk cocoons) from which larvae emerge as moths.
  • Adult moths often crawling rather than flying.

Another cause of carpet or fur damage can be fur or carpet beetles rather than moths. These textile beetles along with house moths are often referred to as textile pests.

FACT: Fear of moths is called Mottephobia.

First the good news: moths aren’t a health risk. Now the bad news: they can cause unsightly damage to clothes, carpets and other materials in your home. Take action as soon as you see the tell-tale holes, or spot small maggot-like larvae or silk cocoons.

There are a number of things you should do immediately to help get rid of moths:

  • Find out where the heart of the problem is. It might be in a wardrobe, chest of drawers or cupboard. It should be fairly obvious because you’ll see the most signs of damage in that particular area.
  • Start to get rid of the moths by using moth traps to catch the adults, and vacuuming regularly in the affected area to remove all the larvae.
  • Thoroughly launder all your clothes and other fabrics in the infected area, such as bed sheets, linen and blankets.

If you’ve done all this and still can’t get rid of the moths, you should call in our expert technicians.

FACT: Moths that can cause problems in your home: Common Clothes Moth, Case Bearing Clothes Moth, Brown House Moth and White Shouldered House Moth.

We are here to Help

Our experts identify the type of moth that is causing your problem. They’ll then use the most effective method to get rid of them, such as a spray or fumigation.

Call Azalia Pest on 0718 937998 to arrange getting rid of moths from your home.

More Top Tips for Getting Rid of Moths

Follow these tips for the best chance of getting rid of moths in your home.

  1. Change vacuum bags often to make sure you remove all larvae and eggs from your property.
  2. Wash all fabrics, soft furnishings, linens, curtains and towels in the affected area; moth larvae find these as tasty as clothes.
  3. Clean and wash down affected wardrobes, cupboards and drawers, especially cracks and crevices where eggs might be hiding.
  4. Clean suitcases, bags and containers as these might be hiding more eggs or larvae.

Moth Treatments for Your Business

A moth problem can be very damaging for any business or organisation.

If your business deals in textiles, fabrics, carpets, woollen garments or upholstery, then moths can ruin stock. They can also contaminate any stored products or foodstuffs, and an untreated infestation may mean you no longer comply with legislation. They can even damage process equipment and machinery, and for somewhere like a museum or historic property a moth problem can ruin priceless and irreplaceable artefacts.

As soon as you notice signs of moths, like holes in materials or larvae and eggs, you need to call in the professionals.

Tailored Solution to Your Moth Problem

Our  technicians are skilled in dealing with moth infestations. Using their expert knowledge, they’ll identify the species that’s creating your moth problem and recommend targeted, effective treatment depending on whether the moth is a textile moth, or a moth that feeds on stored products. This might include sprays, pheromone disruption and fumigants to reach all the problem areas and remove the moths for good.

We can even offer you our chemical-free ‘heat treatments’ that will get rid of moths, larvae and eggs in delicate items that can’t be easily laundered.

  • What do we mean by ‘pheromone disruption’?

Call Azalia on 0718 937998 to eliminate moth problems from your business.

FACT: The warehouse moth is a common and serious food pest in Kenya, damaging stored foodstuffs such as cocoa beans, dried fruit, nuts and chocolate.

Our Five Step Process

  • Inspection- our surveyor will arrange a convenient time with you for a full inspection of your premises.
  • Treatment plan-The Surveyor will recommend a treatment plan based on your infestation, and give you a cost to put the plan into action.
  • Schedule Development-Once you’ve approved the price, the Surveyor will arrange times for a Technician to visit and resolve the moth problem. You may need several visits depending on the treatment.
  • Initial treatment-On the first visit, the Technician will run through the treatment process before the work begins.
  • After service-We’ll also give you advice on how to make sure your moth problem doesn’t come back.

How to Prevent Moths

It can be difficult to prevent moths, but there are practical steps you can take to reduce the risk of an infestation.

Try – if you can – to deny them access indoors in order to help protect your clothing and other delicate items from moth damage.

Moth repellents and other DIY products are available if you wish to try and control a small problem on your own.

To guarantee complete control of a large and repeat infestation, professional treatment is the best option.

Moth Prevention Tips

Preventing moths in your home or business must always include ways to deny them entry indoors. Once inside moths will lay eggs in dark and rarely disturbed areas such as wardrobes or cupboards, where clothes or other textiles are stored and could be damaged.
  • Use fly screens – or draw curtains at night to prevent moths entering your home through doors and windows.
  • Vacuum regularly – ensure hidden areas such as under large furniture or sofas are regularly vacuumed, to try and remove moth eggs before they hatch.
  • Keep stored textiles in sealed bags – if you plan to store textiles for a long period of time, keep them in sealed plastic bags or suitcases to prevent moth’s access to lay eggs.
  • Clean clothes – moths are attracted to dirty or soiled garments, so always clean clothes thoroughly before storing them.

High Risk Areas for Moth Infestations include:

  • Underneath beds – especially in little-used spare rooms.
  • Infrequently used cupboards, drawers and wardrobes
  • Lofts and Attics – moths can be attracted to bird nests in eaves of homes.

 Moth Treatments

Have you noticed holes and moth damage on your clothes? We have a range of effective solutions to treat infestations and eliminate your moth problem.

Our chemical free ‘heat pod’ treatment is suitable for eliminating moths, eggs and larvae in delicate items that cannot be laundered.

Our Service includes:

  • We will call you to arrange a convenient time for a visit.
  • On arrival, our technician will explain the treatment process before commencing work.
  • We will highlight areas of infestation and where proofing is needed to prevent further problems and offer other prevention advice.
  • After treatment, we will arrange follow up visits, if they are required. This will vary with treatment types and infestation levels.

Common Moth Species

Moths may look small and harmless but they can cause surprising amounts of damage to your clothing and textiles and stored products in general.

In Kenya there are four species of moth in particular, which can cause problems in your home or business.

 

Brown House Moth

(Hofmannophila pseudospretella)

It is very common to see Brown House moths in your home.

Appearance

  • Adult — 8–14 mm long.
  • Brown in colour with three or four darker spots.
  • Larva — up to 20 mm long.
  • Larvae feed on animal textiles like wool, leather and feathers.

Lifecycle

  • Normally one generation per year.

Habits

  • Larva may wander considerable distances prior to pupation.
  • Generally regarded as a scavenger.

 

Common Clothes Moth

(Tineola bisselliella)

The Common Clothes Moth larvae is responsible for making irregular holes in fabrics.

Appearance

  • Adult — 6 – 8 mm long.
  • Straw coloured wings with no markings.
  • Trailing edge of the wings is strongly fringed.
  • Larvae — up to 10 mm long. Creamy white with a brown head.

Lifecycle

  • Egg to adult is usually about 6 weeks. May reach 10 to 18 months if the food is poor or temperatures are cold.

Habits

  • Adult does not feed. Runs rather than flies, avoids the light.

 

Case-Bearing Clothes Moth

(Tinea pellionella)

The Case-Bearing Clothes moth makes more regular holes in fabrics.

Appearance

  • Adult — 6 – 8mm long.
  • Dark buff forewings with three faint spots (may appear as two).
  • Larvae — up to 10 mm long.  Creamy white in colour.

Lifecycle

Similar to the Common Clothes moth.

Habits

More rare than the Common Clothes moth. Check imported goods such as hides or objects of animal origin.

 

White-Shouldered House Moth

(Endrosis sarcitrella)

White-Shouldered House moths are generally less damaging to textiles.

Appearance

  • Adult — 6 to 10mm long.
  • White head with mottled wings.
  • Larvae— up to 12 mm long.  Cream coloured larvae with red-brown head.
  • Pupa — in a silk cocoon.

Lifecycle

Normally one generation per year.

Habits

Often found in unheated outdoor buildings.

Larvae scavenge on a wide range of foods.