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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.

RooneyMara Mon 06-May-13 14:30:17

I wouldn't use a professional service simply because 1. we have a baby and several pets, and 2. we have masses of clutter.

No one would be able to do an effective job in this house - too much stuff to move.

What works best is having man made carpets in areas you can't keep an eye on (under beds for example) and moving out furniture every 6 months or so to hoover and spray - they hate being disturbed.

Keep everything precious in a glass cabinet - I have some very old antique dolls that moths love - they live in a glass doored dresser so I can see if anything is there, and moths can't easily get in.

Hoovering and selective spraying and getting rid of piles of stuff they can hide under is the way forward imo. Talking of which I need to ebay about a zillion things.

Marthanoooo Mon 06-May-13 14:51:41

Rooney, but if you spray with moth killer type stuff that is also a hardcore chemical? Just trying to figure out which type of toxin would be best - if any. We have a baby too.. (Crap situation)

RooneyMara Mon 06-May-13 14:55:53

Yes yes sorry of course it is, just, if I do it I do a little bit at a time - you know, like I move some boxes, find the rug has some moths in it under them, then I hoover thoroughly and spray that rug, keeping kids out of the room for a while. iyswim?

If I got someone in they would want to do the entire house at once, and that would be impossible,.

Shattereddreams Mon 06-May-13 17:12:17

We did whole house last year. Bought all from the website I linked up thread. Was about £70-80 for 3 bed house. Compare to the rentokil quote, which I would expect to be in hundreds.

It came with protective clothing. We got rid of kids 2 and 5 so small kids grin to Grandmas and sprayed top to bottom, used the powder and room fogger. All instructions came with the pack

We stayed in house though, but the lounge which was the worst infected we stayed out of for 24 hours.

I left the powder down in the lounge under the sofa all winter grin will get round to putting more down now weather has warmed up.

You can do this!

Marthanoooo Mon 06-May-13 22:16:51

Shattered. Sounds like a plan! Am usually very DIY...

Did you fog & spray only the one time?
And: did you get rid?

DH is on board now btw. Was worried that he would be all for letting the moths get on with it. But a moth just landed on his hand!

Marthanoooo Mon 06-May-13 22:19:46

Actually, have to take that back. It's not great that a moth landed on his hand...

And am still in awe of the idea of protective clothing .

flamingtoaster Mon 06-May-13 22:26:40

We've been fighting the little pests for ages and, we hope, are winning. We couldn't use the chemicals so have been using great vigilance, lots of hoovering and checking likely areas every few nights. We also have the Lakeland felt gadgets for dusting which are magic for "sweeping" the top of the underside of furniture. We found when the pupae are ready to turn into moths they made cocoons hanging on the underside of some of the furniture so it's easy to sweep them off and dispose of them if you can find where they are doing it. We relentlessly hunted any moth which hatched - time consuming but worth it. Good luck!

roisin Mon 06-May-13 22:31:26

Any tips for preventing moths? We are moving and the new house has had moth damaged carpets.

House is empty, has been redecorated top to bottom, and recarpeting in non-wool carpets. Presumably there can be no nests there now.

But what should we do to prevent them coming in again?

Shattereddreams Tue 07-May-13 11:02:28

Grrrr I just saw a moth in the kitchen. Little fuckers are back..... Clearly hibernated over the winter.

One warm day and POW

I have some spray left over from last year, have re read and am now on the attack with powder. Will Hoover it up tonight and spray before bed time. Fogger on order.

Shattereddreams Tue 07-May-13 11:09:14

Roisin it's hard to know, just Hoover lots, around beds, pull furniture out weekly and Hoover under. I don't store anything under beds anymore so I can move and Hoover a lot.

Having read up again since last summer,
The powder kills the eggs but its hard to get powder everywhere so it's not fool proof

The c formula spray kills the larvea as they eat through all your wool and the females who can't fly and scuttle along the cracks in dark places - under beds and sofas

The fogger kills the males who fly about sniffing for females.

So the process requires all three and needs repeating because of the ridiculously long life cycle of the eggs. Join me in calling them little fuckers grin and if you see them flying at early dusk you have a problem.
I'm putting out traps to attract males, who stick to the traps but this isn't a cure, it's just to tell whether there are any in the house hatching.

Shattereddreams Tue 07-May-13 11:15:40

Martha did you turn over the sofa yet?

I re read your first post, when you said they are in every room, I think you have them in every room. We have carpet damage thought the house. In all the nooks of skirting boards and carpet, especially door frame edges and corners of rooms. Very small hardly noticeable nibbles of carpet gone.

If it is a wool mix carpet, get on your hands and knees and look along every wall. They can be small trail like gaps of carpet missing.

Marthanoooo Tue 07-May-13 14:44:52


Sorry to hear about the little fucker in your kitchen, shattered.

Well, the rentokil guy was here and the first thing he said was: if there are eggs here I will find them.

He had a little torch (i know now that you actually need to point a torch to see them) and 5 mins later he pointed me to some eggs in the corner between door frame and carpet (like shattered said) all nicely there in a nest of dust and hairs and our wool carpet. Basically we have them all along the edges of skirting board and carpet.

He suggested:
1. three treatments with water based insecticide which they will spray all along the edges, behind all furniture, under all furniture (special nozzles). This will sink into the carpet and destroy any larvae and will be repeated three times every two weeks (the logic is that every two weeks or so new larvae will hatch and he says you cannot destroy the eggs, so need to wait for hatching).
2. Moth traps in all rooms to monitor the moths. Apparently it takes 3 treatments. When I asked him what'd happen if still moths left, they would come back... Better get that written down if I go for them.
Cost 500 quid though. And surely hidden cost of dry cleaning / steaming everything and stuff like that.

His approach sounds watertight for me, it's just the cost...

What do you think?

VerySmallSqueak Tue 07-May-13 15:59:21

Jeepers Martha I'd expect them to catch a mountain lion for that. grin

That's a scarily big amount of money,but at least it'll give you peace of mind that they will be got rid of,so long as it's all in writing like you say!

I just don't have that sort of money so it's a DIY approach here (DD's will just have to be very busy squishing them!)

mirry2 Tue 07-May-13 17:12:43

now you know where they are I would try a diy remedy

Marthanoooo Tue 07-May-13 20:16:19

I know! LOL at mountain lion.

I thought the same.... To just focus on that nest and DIY. I. Looked on a pest control website and the kit will cost about £80... So basically rentokil charges £100 per hour for this. blush but in the end: fair enough... It is a crap job and I would charge that too.

Marthanoooo Tue 07-May-13 20:27:05

let's see if this works: link to shopping trolley of what is needed for the venture

RayofSun Tue 07-May-13 20:28:41

We moved into our house 2 years ago and had severe case of carpet moths (little fuckers!). We used the DIY kit recommended with brilliant results. Moved the kids out overnight and went to town with the diggers and powder. Problem completely solved. I would definitely recommend trying it!

Marthanoooo Tue 07-May-13 20:35:30

Ray - which kit did you use? formula c?

Shattereddreams Tue 07-May-13 20:46:37

Yes formula c from

Came with all instructions and protective gear. YOU your other half CAN DO THIS

RayofSun Tue 07-May-13 23:13:49

It was from mothcontroldirect. They do these ready made packs of proactive C. And we bought the fumers from there too. We had specific case making clothes moths. I remember seeing a couple o cases when we moved in but not realising what they were. If only I knew then…

Marthanoooo Wed 08-May-13 05:41:26

Whoa.. Case making clothes moth? Just had a search on google. Yuk. Can't believe I am turning into a moth specialist..

Will get another quote from a different pest control and am considering telling the landlord (it's a property developer firm rather than a private landlord... Surely for them it won't be such an emotional issue.....) usually I prefer to stay under the radar though with the landlord. What do think?

Shattereddreams Wed 08-May-13 07:03:31

I would def get landlord involved, I would hope they pay or at least do the dirty work! Might be worth a separate quick q on mumsnet tho grin as to whether they are responsible to get rid.

Marthanoooo Wed 08-May-13 20:54:52

I asked the Rentokil man and he said that landlords are responsible for communal areas (hallways, etc) and tenants responsible for their flats.

I also got a second pest control quote: £295, they would do two treatments and if moths still present as many as required. Again, kind of guaranteed. I am always sceptical of these "guarantees" though.

Anyway, looks like proactive c is the way to go whether DIY or pest control. Well, I assume rentokil and other pest control guy use proactive c, should've asked.

Marthanoooo Wed 08-May-13 20:55:55

Well, hope everyone is doing ok! Btw our moths are multiplying. Today. I had about 6. Or 7..

Shattereddreams Wed 08-May-13 21:42:48

They are breeding like crazy! To help halt your little fuckers from fucking multiplying, Hoover all the edges daily as often as you can.

I haven't seen anymore, DH assures me he is on moth watch.

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