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Laisser-faire attitude to moths?

(94 Posts)
Marthanoooo Sun 05-May-13 21:06:18

We've had clothes moths since last summer (every few days I come across one or two and they gather in the moths traps over time). In autumn we did the thorough hoover, clean out, dry clean, and spray with moth toxin boot camp of the whole flat. We clean, hoover, dust a lot but did the spraying only once (because of our kids) And we still have moths... We never found where they are hiding either. Flat only five years old... But would it be good idea to fill any cracks between skirting board and wall with silicone etc?

Can we just ignore? or Is it time for a professional exterminator? (We have three small kids including a baby just starting to crawl confused. Best to do the exterminator and move out for a few days?

Any advice would be highly appreciated.

jkklpu Sun 05-May-13 22:13:28

Have you been through absolutely everything in every cupboard that could be the source? We had them over years in our last house and we kept finding what we thought was the mother ship, eg a set of long-lost towels at the back of a cupboard, the lining of a winter coat, until we found a woollen blanket in the loft that was absolutely heaving. I hate them so much and still remember the sinking feeling of spotting one flop around on the floor or the horrible wriggling grubs in a favourite jumper.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 05-May-13 22:16:20

I had this, only a few moths every otehr day, etc. Then I found the source - at the back of the understairs cupboard. Jesus, It was like something from I'm A Celeb.

Hundreds of moth pupae and crawling, hatching moths. I was retching as I had to crawl in and pull the contents of the cupboard out.

You need to find them. Have you looked under your sofa and bed?

Marthanoooo Mon 06-May-13 09:11:44

Thanks for the replies... I need to find them? of course not what I wanted to hear... I have a vague idea of where they originated from (hallway), because they have been spotted there most. But the only place they could nest is under the carpet, nothing much in the hallway apart from a couple of coats we use regularly, a bench (maybe inside?), two boxes with shoes we use all the time.. We are renting btw, so not really a chance of ripping the carpet everything out..

Could they be under the carpet?
Could they be in the airing cupboards outside our flat? Or from the neighbours? I guess slim chance because they are in every room.

Haven't looked under sofa. The thing is we have little in the way of clothes and generally decluttered on the verge of empty place. Not really a chance of a hidden item somewhere, although I haven't turned our sofa upside down yet. Well I checked under beds.

So basically you are saying without locating the nest the fuming by exterminator would be wasted? No point in sealing all cracks?

Marthanoooo Mon 06-May-13 09:13:55

And rereading your posts, yes, it really is a sinking feeling! And finding the source teeming with moths would be gross but must be satisfying to be able to rid like that!

Shattereddreams Mon 06-May-13 09:16:32

Gotta find them. I have 12 inch bare holes in my CARPET under the sofa.

They like wool. But they also need human food, skin flakes etc. so behind beds, sofas laundry baskets.

They have eaten carpet in every room in my house before I realised what was happening. Now the weather has warmed up they little bastards will start hatching. The eggs can survive dormant across the winter month.

Start turning the entire house upside down, check carpets and ask neighbours to do same if in a flat.

ZZZenagain Mon 06-May-13 09:18:36

my neighbour found they had infested a spare mattress (!) she had in storage under one of the beds. There were so many of them, it was just vile. We lugged it outside and she burnt it.

I think you really do have to find them and get rid of them, otherwise the problem never goes away.

Check the back of all your cupboards

Shattereddreams Mon 06-May-13 09:20:19

In order to keep on top, get ant powder. Once kids are in bed, squirt powder along the skirting boards. Then Hoover up a couple of hours later. Change Hoover bag.

Hoover like a demon every day! Get moth traps to see if problem is solved, they are sticky pads and attract the males, who can fly. The females crawl along skirting boards hence ant powder.

Marthanoooo Mon 06-May-13 10:02:46

Ok! More responses about finding them. Am convinced ;-) Hallway first. Well, that bench is on the balcony basking in the sunshine. Now, the carpet has no entry point for me to rip out... Not keen to talk to landlord about our issue. Would be good to know if carpet has wool in it, but I think remembering being happy about a carpet with wool... Pre-moths...

Ok, haven't turned everything upside down. This really sucks.

But Again, am encouraged about stories where you found the nest.. Yuk.

Shattered dreams have you found the source yet. Sounds like you haven't?

RooneyMara Mon 06-May-13 10:09:06

I don't think there is always a 'source' as has been mentioned - well, we've never had one, we just have a lot of wool rugs and there are a few moths under all of them, and between gaps in the floorboards.

There were moths eating half the carpet when we moved in - carpets were all ripped out and binned, but still, we have moths. Just a few really.

I spray with moth killer stuff under things from time to time and periodically take up the carpets at the edges and hoover thoroughly.

I don't think we'll ever get rid altogether. But there is no 'nest' as it were.

Marthanoooo Mon 06-May-13 11:07:12

Rooney what do you think of getting an exterminator?

Shattereddreams Mon 06-May-13 11:33:16

What Rooney says - not a nest as such but several clusters

Tip the sofas over now.......

Shattereddreams Mon 06-May-13 11:34:25

Oh and it's not covered on insurance. So if you rent not sure if that's good or bad

Shattereddreams Mon 06-May-13 11:38:53

There is a website with lots of info. DH exterminated himself and we stayed away overnight

VerySmallSqueak Mon 06-May-13 11:40:49

I think I have them - have had about half a dozen small moths in one particular area each day for about the last 4 days.
So this is the time of year they hatch?

I am intending to spray round all the carpet edges treating that one particular place intensively.

And hoover a bit more generally.

I can see no damage though and they are near the log box,so I was kind of just hoping they were a different type of small moth that has come in on the kindling and just started to hatch out.

Martha if the problem is extensive it has to be worth at least arming yourself with the info as to the expense and upheaval of having them treated professionally,and then make a decision.

It may be cheaper and easier than you're imagining.

Shattereddreams Mon 06-May-13 11:44:38

They like human skin so Hoover under beds sofas and laundry baskets especially well
Get your pointy nozzle into skirting boards

Shattereddreams Mon 06-May-13 11:46:00

Very small, you could try a fogger spray if just one room, it only kills males so has to be repeated for newly hatched eggs

mirry2 Mon 06-May-13 11:49:41

We had them last year in the bedrooms. I went through each room systematically, cleaning out cupboards and drawers, hoovering and spraying everything, especially under the divan bed, where they seemed to be lurking the most. I also washed and put in plastic bags every item of clothing we had and became an obsessive moth spotter.

so far they haven't come back but I will be on the case if they do. I didn't realise the damage they caused and was too lax in dealing with them before, but no longer!

VerySmallSqueak Mon 06-May-13 11:50:40

Thanks Shattered!

What should I look for?Is that just like a normal 'fly spray?

At the moment I have set to with getting the DD's to kill 'em when they see 'em.

SavoyCabbage Mon 06-May-13 11:54:53

I had moths. I innocently opened a tin and.............out flew hundreds of moths. Like those snakes in a tin from a cartoon.

I dropped the tin and there on the floor was a solid cube of web. It was hideous.

Marthanoooo Mon 06-May-13 12:00:48

Thanks for the link shattered. Your husband must be the action man! Looks daunting all those canisters full of powders and sprays.

Our sofa is too heavy to lift for me alone, waiting for DH to come home.

1. Taking living room carpet outside
2. Turn over sofas tonight
3. Rentokil guy is coming by tomorrow for a free consultation.
4. Need to check with DH but am ready to rip out hallway carpet for a start

Does anyone know how often pest control has to spray? As you said shattered... I think too you cannot destroy the eggs so need several rounds of fumigating, like every two weeks for a while.

Is anyone using toxins not concerned about (small) kids?

Marthanoooo Mon 06-May-13 12:04:38

Very small - we used Zero clothes moth killer spray. We used it only once all over the flat after blitzing it but it didn't get rid. I think also here the idea is to do several treatments to kill off new larvae... Because you cannot destroy the eggs (correct me if I'm wrong on this but seem to remember from my research last year)

VerySmallSqueak Mon 06-May-13 12:16:41

Thank you Martha

I am worried about the kids.I am planning to spray in the evening or when they are on a sleepover to give it a chance to dry/disperse.

I generally will not use fly killer sprays at all because I can't think they are healthy.

But in this case it's a bit more of an issue than the odd fly buzzing around and I expect anything truly harmful wouldn't be sold to the public at large if used minimally.Or at least I'm hoping so!

ZZZenagain Mon 06-May-13 12:24:26

are you sure they are not in the food? I know it is an unpleasant thought - things like flour, cereals, etc you need to check.

Marthanoooo Mon 06-May-13 13:34:45

No. Ours are definitely the clothes moths... Food containers also changed / used frequently. But I remember finding food moths at my parents once in a pack of cornflour. nasty!

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