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How to get rid of moths

(23 Posts)
Romilly70 Thu 30-Aug-12 09:46:05

Hi there,
I have a rented a flat in the UK and my tenants have complained of having moths eating their clothes.

Now they are boys and not very tidy (or possibly clean) and in the 20 years i have had the flat, I have never had this problem.

They want me to call pest control to get rid of them. They have said the problems seem to be originating in the curtains, so I have asked them to take them down and wash them.

Any other suggestions on how to get rid of the moths.
many thanks!

Notgrownupinmyhead Thu 30-Aug-12 10:13:20

Cedar wood is meant to help. If they hung some up near the windows if its the curtains.

PigletJohn Thu 30-Aug-12 11:22:06

if they have got a serious moth problem, they have got to use chemicals.

lots of hoovering will reduce the load of eggs in the carpets, but it has to be done under and behind furniture as well. I don't know how good your tenants are at housekeeping, and they might not feel by putting all their clothes and bedding through the tumbledrier so the heat kills eggs and larvae.

Cedar doesn't kill moths, it just makes your holey clothes smell nice when you throw them in the bin.

You could buy a lot of the hang-up moth killers and insist they are placed in every drawer and wardrobe, and in the cupboard under the stairs and the airing cupboard (one plastic hanger treats half a cubic metre of enclosed space) and you can spray the carpets, especially the edges next to the skirting and under furniture. You can also put the hangers on curtain-rails (but the vapour breaks down in sunlight and is dissipated by ventilation, so it works much better in a closed container.

If you buy some of those translucent plastic crates from Tesco, any clothes or bedding stored in them with a moth killer will kill eggs, larvae and adult moths, for three months.

The rest of it will be down to good housekeping. If your tenants do not pay attention they will never be free of moths. Clothes that have been worn and have human scent on them attract moths (especially the scent of women)

More on products here

The chemical that works on moths is called Transfluthrin, it is a slow-release vapour that kills eggs as well as larvae.

Romilly70 Thu 30-Aug-12 22:24:50

hi thanks for the replies.
they have just had a quote from rentokil for £360 to pay to get rid of the infestation.
I personally think that they should be shelling out as it appears it is their lack of housekeeping skills which has led to this....

VivaLeBeaver Thu 30-Aug-12 22:32:20

If you find the nest you can destroy it yourself/or tennants can.

It'll be somewhere dark - under a bed, under the sofa, bottom of a wardrobe, etc.

I found ours in the under stairs cupboard. Which admittedly was piled high full of junk and never cleared/cleaned out. So probably my slatternly ways didn't help. I binned a lot of stuff, ripped the carpet out, loads of wriggly maggot type moth grubs. I sprayed and sprayed with Moth Killer stuff that I bought on Amazon.

My infestation was never bad enough for clothes to be getting damaged though. I did read they're attracted to unclean clothes. One thing I am good is washing clothes - stuff is never put pack in the wardrobe if its been worn. It gets washed first. If your tennants wear stuff and put it back in the wardrobe without washing this won't help.

PigletJohn Thu 30-Aug-12 22:38:10


They don't live in nests, like wasps

But there might be some places which form a particulatly friendly environment, where there may be more than in other parts of your house.

If you have a moth infestation, you have to treat all you woollen carpets, all your wardrobes, drawers and cupboards.

mama01 Thu 30-Aug-12 22:44:23

I think I've spotted moths in my wardrobe but not come across any holes (yet) so am reading with interest.

But Viva you are making me feel a bit slatternly- are you saying you wash all your clothes after wearing them once? Is this just because of the moth problem?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 30-Aug-12 22:45:37

Nest might not be the correct technical term but there will be a source/centre/whatever of the infestation.

When I had the problem thats what all the info I read on the internet told me and it was right.

Believe me the cupboard was like a big nest - loads of cocoon type structures and little maggoty grubs as well as crawling juvenile moths. It was grim.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 30-Aug-12 22:48:18

I would wear stuff more than once. But I wouldn't put it back in the wardrobe until it was washed. So I'd keep it out on the back of a chair in my bedroom and wear it again. But it would get worn again soon, I wouldn't keep it there for weeks.

If it was something I wasn't going to wear again for weeks/months then I'd wash it.

GentleOtter Thu 30-Aug-12 22:49:10

Can you still buy moth balls? like the ones my Aunty Daisy kept in her cupboards

Devora Thu 30-Aug-12 22:56:09

OK, I don't think it's true that poor household hygiene = moths. Sure, if you never wash your clothes you'll encourage them, but perfectly clean and tidy households [she said defensively] can get moths and they're pretty epidemic at the moment. So I don't think you should blame your tenants for getting moths. Anyone can get moths.

You can, though, ask that they co-operate with efforts to eradicate them. Have they tried washing all their clothes and spraying moth killer into the wardrobe crevices? Have they moved the beds and furniture to track down infestations? Have they checked the curtains?

Moths are a PITA to get rid of, IME. In my last flat, the only thing that worked was to rip up all the carpets and have hard flooring throughout. You need to get your tenants on board and work as a team to sort this.

Devora Thu 30-Aug-12 22:56:55

Oh, and moth balls won't work - they are a deterrent but won't get rid of an established infestation. You could try hurling them at the moths to release tension, but that's about the limits of their usefulness.

PigletJohn Thu 30-Aug-12 22:58:18

you probably can, but you can also buy a chemical that actually kills moths, grubs and eggs and doesn't stink of camphor.

should you so desire.

If you ever get a serious infestation it will cost you a fortune in damaged clothes, bedding and carpets, and you will take it seriously.

cece Thu 30-Aug-12 23:00:56

My mum's house has this problem at the moment, so watching with interest.

Polyethyl Thu 30-Aug-12 23:01:07

Put moth traps in all your dark corners, under beds, behind wardrobes. Hoover scrupulously, Everywhere, then spray your carpets with moth killer. Keep your clothes clean and don't let them lie on woolen carpeted floors. Don't leave piles of woolen things (blankets/cushions etc) lying around. Fire off moth killing smoke bombs in every room. Search for the dark corner in which they are breeding and destroy the larvae. After all that you will still have a moth problem.

hellymelly Thu 30-Aug-12 23:07:53


PigletJohn Thu 30-Aug-12 23:09:56

no need for smoke bombs. Hoovering and cleaning will remove a lot from the carpets, which can then be sprayed, and the vapour hangers in all drawers and wardrobes will wipe out any eggs, larvae and adults in there. Transfluthrin is very effective, and the hangers put out a tiny amount of vapour that builds up in a closed container such as a wardrobe. Fresh air, sunlight and water break it down so you are not able to treat a whole room with them.

While you are getting rid of the problem, you can put all your clothes and bedding through a tumble drier to kill eggs, then store the clothes in plastic crates with a lid on before they can get get reinfested, with a vapour hanger in each.

I had to deal with an infestation in my old mum's house, and a determined and sustained attack cleared it. I still use wardrobe hangers just in case.

Devora Thu 30-Aug-12 23:10:01

They really are evil bastards. There are few things in this life that I hate as much.

mama01 Thu 30-Aug-12 23:11:16

Ah, good point viva I get where you are coming from with the clothes washing. Might try that- my wardrobe might stop smelling like my grannies too !!

PigletJohn Thu 30-Aug-12 23:15:25

my best suits and jackets don't get cleaned after every wearing, but there is a moth hanger in the wardrobe or in the pocket.

Having seen an infestation I take it very seriously. A good suit costs a lot to replace.

Romilly70 Sat 01-Sep-12 17:30:31

Well the tenants said they do a lot of sport and they always have clothes hanging out to dry. I think they are going to try and give the place a good clean first and wash all the curtains....

Leftwingharpie Sun 16-Sep-12 09:51:30

I became obsessive about cleanliness when our rented flat was infested but nothing I did got rid of them. They were living in/on the carpet and if I has owned the place I'd have had the carpets ripped up and hard wood floors put down. Instead we moved out and put every single scrap of fabric we owned either through a 60 degree wash or in the freezer for three days or to the dry cleaners. Rentokil quoted us £900 just to fumigate our stuff, not to do the flat. As they were also in the corridors of the building I suspect the whole place was infested and nothing we could have done would have got rid of them.

Daisy123abc Fri 11-Mar-16 21:04:12

omg moths are everywhere, I think they are waking up from hibernation. Thanks for the advice

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