Did moths feast on your new cashmere? We’ve been there more times than we’d like to admit.
Turns out, guys like these (see above) are not the guys ruining your sweater.
Instead, clothes moths are small 1/2-inch moths that are beige in color with narrow wings — Tineola bisselliella, the webbing clothes moth and Tinea pellionella, the case-making clothes moth.
Quick facts on the bugs with the expensive taste:
- They live on the dark side of life — while you can catch most other flies and other large and furry moths by luring it to a bright light, clothes most prefer darkness.
- The adult moths you see are actually not the ones eating your clothes — it’s their larvae babies that are feeding away on your clothes. Their diet of choice? Wool, fur, silk, feathers, felt and leather — no cotton or synthetic fabrics. I know, it’s like would they like some pearls with that? These materials contain keratin, a fibrous protein that these larvae like to eat.
- Larvae prefer to live and feed in dark and undisturbed areas, like that top unreachable shelf where you store your warm sweaters during the summer.
How to prevent moths from eating your clothes:
- Moths are particularly drawn to natural fibers that have human sweat, hair and body oil. That means if you’re storing away your wool and silks for the summer, get them washed before!
- Store your winter clothing in air-tight or vacuum-sealed bags or plastic containers. They can chew through cardboard boxes, so these are a no-go!
- Moths can lay eggs in carpet — so break out vacuum, paying particular attention to that one closet crevice you never pay attention to. You know the one, the corner the vacuum doesn't fit into.
- Don’t rely on cedar chests. They’re overrated. The reason — while cedar oils are lethal towards clothes moth larvae, that is only in high concentrations. Cedar oils don’t repel adult clothes moths. Cedar chests usually do not have the proper seal to keep that noxious odor in, and even a newly crafted cedar wood chest won’t keep the bugs dead or away for long. But, if you have a chest that is a few years old, you can help reinvigorate it slightly by sanding the cedar or applying cedar essential oil. It’ll smell nice and exert some repellency, but only if you don’t currently have an infestation inside.
- Use mothballs only in air-tight containers.
- Spray a natural insecticide on the interior and exterior of your closet, paying close attention to the corners and carpet near moldings. Our EVADE Multi-Insect will let you effectively spray down your closet and kill off any unwanted clothes-bitters.