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Help please! Clothes moths EVERYWHERE

(10 Posts)
Realitea Fri 07-Aug-15 19:56:19

First discovered them last week and they've munched the carpets and clothes. When emptying wardrobes and drawers I found hundreds.
I got vacuuming with vigour.
Bagged up all clothes to wash at 60.
Changing carpets.
Got someone to come and treat the house.
Do I really need to wash every item of clothing? This is going to take a lifetime!
Any tips from anyone?

VivaLeBeaver Fri 07-Aug-15 20:03:50

I had this once but not quite this bad, they hadn't chewed clothes or carpets but I kept finding them on the walls, etc.

Then one day I say five crawling out the gap round the door of the under stairs cupboard. I went poking down the far end of the dark cupboard, under all the old wellies and bags.....omg it was like I'm a celeb get me out if here.

I found a heaving mass of moth larvae/grubs. I emptied the cupboard, ripped the carpet out. I threw quite a few bags out. I sprayed the cupboard like mad and set some moth traps.....sticky things.

You need to look in dark places, wardrobes, under beds, under sofas......see if you can find anything similar. Moth traps are good.

Realitea Fri 07-Aug-15 22:23:27

I've done that and it was disturbing. What you describe was everywhere. Mostly my teenagers wardrobe.
I always thought I was so clean and tidy. Never will I cut corners again!

VivaLeBeaver Fri 07-Aug-15 23:35:37

Yeah it totally cured me of hoarding. I used to stuff things in that cupboard and forget about them. Never again!

marshmallowpies Sat 08-Aug-15 00:10:51

I had the house sprayed - they did it twice over a couple of weeks, clothes were bagged up and out in the garden, furniture pulled away from walls until the stuff was dry.

It didn't get rid of them entirely but they only ever came back very sparingly after that. - every spring there'd be a handful of them but less and less every year.

The weird thing was that it was a house i'd just moved to, no moths at my previous place, and the new house had no carpets at all, only laminate, but the moths seemed to appear out of nowhere suddenly, out of every crack and crevice you could imagine. It was horrible. Like they'd been waiting for me to move in and then cause havoc.

MrsWembley Sat 08-Aug-15 07:43:14

Wow! I was just about to start a thread asking for advice on how to get rid of these little buggers!grin

I've used the things you hang in wardrobes and we have cedar wood thrown in drawers but they keep coming back!

PigletJohn Sat 08-Aug-15 09:21:43

cedar wood has no effect on moths, but it makes your hoiley clothes smell nice when you throw them in the bin.

There are three things you need to do:

Buy some moth killers containing Transfluthrin, which emits a vapour that kills eggs, grubs and adults. The vapour breaks down in sunlight or rain and disperses in fresh air, so they will not treat a room, you have to put them inside wardrobes, drawers, bags and crates. They may be cheaper in bulk on ebay. Paper strips will do a small drawer or a single bag, hangers will do a crate or a couple of them in a small wardrobe.

Hoover frequently and thoroughly, especially inside, under and behind furniture, and the edges of rooms where they like to hide in the gap between skirting and carpet. Clean out your cupboard under the stairs or any storage that is not frequently cleaned.

Put all your clothes and bedding through the tumble drier. The heat kills eggs. Take them out and immediately seal them into plastic crates with a tight fitting lid, or large plastic bags (clear recycling bags are good, you can put them on stuff on hangers, starting from the top) with a moth killer inside each. The bag or crate will contain the vapour inside. If you leave them lying around they will get reinfested.

If you don't liker using chemicals, that's fine. You will change your mind after you have thrown hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of clothes, carpets and bedding away.

After about a year you will probably have it under control, but I recommend continuing with hangers in your wardrobes, and in any crates of out-of-season clothes that you have put away. Moths are attracted to the scent of a woman and will home in on any clothes that have been worn and put away unwashed, including coats. Apparently single men don't get moths much.

Smerlin Sat 15-Aug-15 21:55:34

Hi PigletJohn and hope you don't mind me hijacking your thread Realitea. Have been following the advice you have given on older threads re: hot washing/tumbling everything. Have hoovered/cleaned out wRdrobes and drawers, sprayed with insecticide and put in transfluthrin balls/hangers before returning hopefully 'sterilised' clothes.

Haven't discovered any noticeable nest yet- am wondering if it is in floorboards/walls as we have no carpet anywhere.

Anyway we can't afford to have a pesticide company come to do a fogger etc- can the moths eat sofas/duvets/duvet covers/mattresses as obviously can't hot wash those!!??

PigletJohn Sat 15-Aug-15 22:12:48

they can, and I think you have to spray them thoroughly, as you probably can't use a slow-release hanger.

When I have used sprays, I sprayed the room and left the doors and windows shut for at least half a day, then aired it afterwards.

expensive or older mattresses may have wool padding, but I think modern sofas will mostly be synthetic.

fionathepink Mon 17-Aug-15 18:10:16

zensect is the best. change them the moment they go white. freeze all clothes where the moth holes have been found and then hot wash anything you can.

store any expensive wool or silk in the open. These beasts love dark places. hoover everywhere dark on a regular basis and empty your drawers and wardrobe regularly. They also love places with animal fur.

We lived in an area with a huge moth problem due to some trees nearby that they loved. I lost so much wool it was heartbreaking.

oh make sure to store all food in airtight containers. If they can't find fibres they'll dig into your flour and cereals.

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