Moths! Bloody moths!

(36 Posts)
Thurlow Sun 03-May-15 21:17:33

What's the best thing to do? We seem to have loads of the buggers. Not to bad for me, it appears me buying cheap clothing has paid off grin But DP's jumpers are taking a real bashing.

Any sure fire suggestions?

cozietoesie Sun 03-May-15 21:48:57

Pheromone traps and hoovering, Thurlow - with the latter paying close attention to the undersides of things and cracks in the floor etc. (Basically, places where feet don't often tread.) I've got on top of a pretty heavy infestation in this house by these means. Took me until last year's breeding season to be sure I'd cracked it but I reckon I have.

(I still keep the traps in place for the odd egg hatching or stray in an open window but I hardly had any takers last year.)

You're best to store expensive sweaters away in airtight bags for the duration if they're not to be used real regularly.

TheHappinessTrap Wed 06-May-15 09:42:46

Buy loads of moth repellent products. When we had this problem I filled the house with them. And like Cozie I now keep a small amount of the products topped up in wardrobes.

cozietoesie Wed 06-May-15 09:53:47

I always feel edgy about spraying products which have HazMat instructions as long as your arm on the back of them. My father had some cans of something called 'Doom' around which I'll confess to using up on some good rugs but I don't think I would buy any more even if they were still on the market. I prefer getting rid of the blighters at source now rather than dealing with them once they're growing and eating.

Thurlow Wed 06-May-15 12:03:08

Thanks everyone. Frustratingly our wardrobe is actually a sort of built in cupboard with carpet, I suspect that's causing the problem. I'll empty the whole cupboard, wash everything, hoover it until it can't take it anymore, and then buy every single trap and product going!

Rummikub Wed 06-May-15 12:06:42

Can you still buy moth balls?

How long does the moth paper take to work?

Hate them!

cozietoesie Wed 06-May-15 12:16:55

I'll lay you odds, Thurlow, that they're laying under the carpet towards the back edges. Is it fitted?

cozietoesie Wed 06-May-15 12:30:16

Rummikub

Yes - you can still buy mothballs although it's decidely easier to buy chemical sachets these days.

The pheromone moth traps - basically just holders in which you insert sticky papers impregnated with the attractant for the male (I think) moths - lasts a reasonable time but I'm not sure precisely how long is guaranteed. I've tended to fling them after a couple of months or when they became too congested with dead moths if earlier.

I also have an instinct that they prefer to come down to a surface which has a moth or two already on it rather than just pure white but I may be attributing them with too much intelligence. (I've seemed to notice that, depending on your level of infestation, you can wait hours before you get the first one but then they come faster. I may be imagining that.)

A hoover is your friend as well - don't leave the traps or chemicals to do all the work because it may be too much for them to cope with and save your sweaters at the same time. Also - if you have floorboards with cracks between boards - use a knife gently to loosen anything between the boards. That seems to be a favourite laying place.

cozietoesie Wed 06-May-15 12:36:32

PS - if any of you have cats, the hoovering - especially of any cracks - would have the beneficial side-effect of also getting up any stray flea eggs at the same time. A real Twofer.

Thurlow Wed 06-May-15 12:38:04

I think it is fitted. I've never paid much attention as we just moved in and filled the wardrobe, but it's certainly the same carpet as is fitted in the bedroom and hallway.

Maybe I should just rip the carpet out?!

cozietoesie Wed 06-May-15 12:43:26

No need if it's not doing any harm. Just pull it away from the edges and hoover under it, especially the carpet underside. If it's lying on old floor boards, hoover those as well with special attention to the cracks. That should help enormously although a moth trap close at hand - and making sure you don't store unbagged sweaters in there for a bit - would also be advisable.

Rummikub Wed 06-May-15 12:46:40

Thanks cozie

Thurlow, try hoovering and chemicals before ripping the carpet up?

I don't think I've got the sticky traps. Just moth paper that you leave in drawers. Says it kills larvae and adults. I dread walking I got he suspect room and finding a moth massacre. It's making me it now!
The moth paper smells a lot, I much prefer the smell of camphor.

Thurlow Wed 06-May-15 13:10:14

Damn it, that could have been a good way of convincing DP to get new floors in the bedroom grin

PigletJohn Wed 06-May-15 13:27:53

try a few of the other moth killers. The only ones that work have a chemical called Transfluthrin, which kills eggs, larvae and adults. It is also available in small sachets and in plastic hangers that you put in wardrobes (they each protect half a cubic metre, so about two in a wardrobe). They are usually unscented or smell of lavender. Try a few brands. I get mine from Robert Dyas.

The chemical gives off a vapour which breaks down in sunlight or rain and disperses in fresh air, and the mothproofers seem to be sized to work inside a closed cupboard but not big enough to pollute the air in the room. They last for several months.

Moth repellents like cedar do not kill moths but will make your holey clothes smell nice when you throw them in the bin.

Frequent and thorough vacuuming, especially under, inside and behind furniture and round the edges of carpets, will reduce the numbers, but only chemicals will kill them all. Put woollens through a tumbledrier to kill eggs before sealing them into a large plastic bag or lidded crate with a mothkiller sealed inside. If you do not own a drier use the one in the laundrette. If already clean, they do not have to be washed again first, the heat kills eggs.

It takes about a year to be sure your home is free of moths and eggs. Once you have had a bad infestation you will be minded you continue using the hangers in your wardrobes. You can easily lose hundreds of pounds worth of clothes otherwise.

Rummikub Wed 06-May-15 13:58:57

A year shock

KittieCat Wed 06-May-15 14:03:42

PigletJohn is v wise. It's thanks to his wise words that I tackled the little fuckers.

cozietoesie Wed 06-May-15 14:05:23

I used to use chemicals exclusively (thinking back on many many years of fighting various intruders) but I've found the switch over to traps extremely effective when allied with hoovering. (Pheromone traps don't smell by the way Rummikub - except to male moths!) I don't believe that only chemicals will kill them all in the long term - although having a few chemical sachets around would do no harm.

I guess I just don't believe in having my home festooned with swathes of chemical sachets at various stages of usefulness. I've spent years being pretty cavalier with chemical substances but I'm less laid back about their use these days.

Your hoover could become your best friend though. smile

KittieCat Wed 06-May-15 14:05:32

I hope!

cozietoesie Wed 06-May-15 14:08:29

Oh Yes, Rummikub. If you've got them after they've DTD and the females have quickly laid some fertile eggs then you're basically waiting for hatching time again.

Constant vigilance. smile

addstudentdinners2 Wed 06-May-15 14:09:56

Hijacking this thread as DP and me are having a MAJOR carpet moth problem. Nothing we do seems to get rid of the buggers. We kill every one we see, put boiling water/powder down etc etc...

We are in rented accommodation and they have eaten through a massive chunk of carpet so I'm worried we'll have to shell out for that when we move too sad

Thurlow Wed 06-May-15 14:14:27

Gah! Thanks PigletJohn, we'll investigate those other products.

The hoovering is going to be a pain in the arse. Not hoovering per se, but this is a sort of walk-in cupboard and so the floor is a storage area for things we don't have anywhere else to put while we keep hoovering!

Takver Wed 06-May-15 14:15:42

When we've had bad moth, I stuck all our woollies in the freezer for a fortnight bagged up to be certain I'd killed any eggs. Then took them out and left any that weren't going to be worn regularly in their bags.

cozietoesie Wed 06-May-15 14:16:15

Do you go to the undersides of the carpet, add - and how often? (I'm thinking underlay and floorboard cracks as well.) Also - do you tend to leave furniture in the same place and hoover regularly only on the main thoroughfare? (They tend to lay in places which are less 'disturbed'.)

Don't worry about real-life housekeeping practices here by the way. There's no need to take some sort of perfection tack when you're fighting a battle.

cozietoesie Wed 06-May-15 14:18:45

I don't think people would be suggesting daily hoovering, Thurlow - just much more thoroughly than you've likely been doing given that it's a storage cupboard.

cozietoesie Wed 06-May-15 14:20:57

PS - and rationalizing storage is always a good idea in any case. Do you actually ^need* everything that's in there?

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