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Bloody clothes moths!!!!

(19 Posts)
YetAnotherNC Mon 25-Jan-16 17:36:34

How oh how do I get rid of them? They have eaten holes in ALL my lovely jumpers! Anyone know of a foolproof way to beat the little f***ers?

ledgeoffseason Mon 25-Jan-16 19:33:56

The things you hang in your wardrobes seem good, combined with the little orange balls you out in drawers. Try Robert Dyas or Amazon.

Featherstep Tue 26-Jan-16 00:26:18

Watching with interest and hoping someone will come along and tell us a good solution.

I've tried mothballs, cedar balls, sachets. No good. I read that washing your woollens to get rid of grease and body 'oils' etc helps, also not packing them in so tightly in your wardrobe - good to shake the clothes out once in a while. Also opening windows and airing the room.

These are all preventative though and I'd be very grateful if anyone knows what to do when you know the buggers are around! Someone told me to put a bitten jumper in a plastic bag in the freezer overnight to kill the moth eggs but I'm not sure that actually works.

PitPatKitKat Tue 26-Jan-16 04:58:34

We had major losses a few years ago after moving to a new city, so it's a military operation round our way now. Still, no losses since we implemented this regime.

Biggest step was an initial prune and being ruthless about what we do and don't use. Simply so we have a manageable amount of clothes and can keep on top of maintenance, and so all items are in pretty regular rotation/use.


We stopped using a wardrobe and chests of drawers as moths love dark places and nooks and crannies. Instead we how have clothes rails, clear plastic containers that snap closed and a freezer in the spare room.

All clothes that need to be hung so as not to crease are hung in a clothes cover. We use breathable ones for e.g. wool suits, clear plastic ones for e.g. shirts. There are moth repeller strips in with all natural fibre garments, these are replaced at regular intervals. Some high value items have (matching) clothes pegs keeping the hole that the hanger pokes out through tightly shut.

Any clothes that don't need to be hung that are of a high risk material (silk, wool, cashmere) are kept in the freezer. I have a variety of pyrex dishes with rubber lids and different sizes of ziploc bags to protect clothes from moisture. This is because freezing does kill the eggs/larvae, but also a freezer has an really airtight seal round it. DH has a big pyrex lasagne pan with a rubber lids full of rolled up silk ties. I sometimes dream of a big walk in freezer that is also a wardrobe.

Clothes that don't need to be hung that of lower risk materials are stored folded in the clear plastic containers with snap close lids. This includes shoes, underwear, handbags etc- anything that has a dark corner something could crawl into.

Establishing kill zones and regular sweeps

There are pheromone moths traps at strategic locations in the room.

If we ever see a moth in a trap or round the house, I kill the little bastard stone fucking dead as I now have stealth and practice on my side we use space spray or fog bombs soon after to kill it's mates as well.

Every few weeks I use a space spray (there are both natural and chemical ones), spray into nooks and crannies and also into closed rooms, even if we haven;t seen anything for ages.

Also paint moth oil round the sides of the floorboards and skirting boards (and on random bits of the floor, e.g. room thresholds and window sills, as the females crawl rather than fly. it lasts up to a year so this is less onerous than it sounds.

Regular hoovering of nooks and crannies using a nozzle attachment. Sometimes we put a little flea powder in the nooks and crannies and hoover it out, as that really kills eggs.

We've put diatomaceous earth down in some hard to reach/clean places, like opening round boxed in pipes etc.

There are some nicely scented natural based sprays that can used on e.g. mattresses, soft furnishings like sofas, that act as a repellent but aren't toxic. I use those on the fabric bits, and periodically spray something a bit stronger on the bottom of the sofa.

Cleaning and rotation

We have strict rotation whereby high risk items e.g. wool suits get dry cleaned at least once every six weeks. So DH has six work suits now and one goes to the dry cleaner every week. Things like DJ, kilt, evening dresses are inspected regularly and sent to the cleaners more often than before. They are always cleaned after use and before being put away.

Anything that can go in a hot wash goes in a hot wash now.

All storage boxes, clothes in storage boxes etc are moved every 4-6 weeks- taken out, shaken, inspected, given a wash/freeze/dry clean if any suspicions, brushed and put back. I usually do a little re-organise whilst I do this, make sit seem less of a task if what I am really doing or thinking about is rearranging things into new outfits...

Now when we buy clothes we buy less, of better quality and think through how we will store, use and maintain it.

Another big thing was thinking through how we store paper documents- we found a load of eggs in a metal lock box that had a hole in the bottom.

So we scanned what we could, pruned the rest, and now they stay in folders in the same clear plastic snap top containers- we'd see anything that was trying to fester at a glance.

Looking in unusual places for potential hides also helped. We took off the kick boards on the kitchen units, and found a hole in the floor boards. There was a rolled up rug down there for some reason. It wasn't infested, but it could easily have been the next hiding place.

Phew. It took a while to set it up, but once the system is up and running it doesn't take that much extra time.

Higge Tue 26-Jan-16 06:45:57

We got rid of all the little buggers when we moved house 5 years ago. But 3 years later and they came back - through the window - other people's clothing...I have no's very frustrating though.

ClaudiaNaughton Tue 26-Jan-16 09:17:59

Pitpat I'm aghast, that seems like a full time job. Are you somewhere tropical?

YetAnotherNC Tue 26-Jan-16 10:04:38

PitPat WOW! Thank you for all the info. I am in serious awe! star

cardoon Tue 26-Jan-16 10:15:35

PitPat shock Where did/do you live!

PitPatKitKat Tue 26-Jan-16 10:51:34

Thank you. It doesn't take that long now it is up and running, most of it is just modifications to regular cleaning/laundry, a few extra steps added to things you do anyway.

It adds about 10/15 minutes to the weekly hour or so of cleaning we do together on Saturday. Another hour on top of that once a month, another half hour once a quarter.

It did take about a week to get it up and running though (not all at once). I did a couple of days reading up on stuff and working out an action plan, which has been tweaked as we go along.

Not tropical- Scotland.

missmartha01 Tue 26-Jan-16 10:59:38

PitPat, you should get a flipping medal and possibly your own tv show.

cardoon Tue 26-Jan-16 13:38:27

Shit, I'm in Scotland too and fall far short of your methods that's an understatement

I was kind of hoping you were overseas/down south wink

Were you seeing the little blighters before they attacked?

PitPatKitKat Tue 26-Jan-16 20:41:42

We'd seen one or two about, but had moved from further north so weren't used to them. Got few cedar blocks and thought that would handle it...big mistake.

It was seeing DH's face when he saw they had eaten the kilt jacket he wore when we got married that tore it for me. I didn't lose anything of such sentimental value, but I was pretty pissed about losing a wool duffle coat his parents bought me one Christmas.

No way his italian wool work suits or my wedding shoes (made from kimono silk) are being an insect's dinner.

On a lighter note, today someone gave me some Maw Broon's Irn Bru Nougat. Which is kind of awful, but is also like a whole scottish childhood in one bite.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Tue 26-Jan-16 21:00:10

We never had all that much expensive wool clothing for them to eat, but as we have never got rid of them and I doubt we ever will entirely, my solution has been to stop buying woollen clothing. The moths we have definitely prefer knitted wool to woven wool, but I've found signs of their work on wool coats before now. It's very annoying. A friend of mine has taken to putting her valuable woollen rugs in the freezer periodically.

I never saw a clothes moth when I was growing up. Now they seem to be everywhere. Is it do with central heating and climate change?

Tisgrand Tue 26-Jan-16 21:52:30

I have done some research previously and there's some good information here:-

The main thing I learnt is that moths are attracted to clothes which have been worn and put away without being washed - and they particularly like the odour of women's unwashed clothes. So now I wash pretty much everything even if I've only worn something for an hour or two. My washing machine has a super-quick wash (15 mins) and I often make use of this as I don't want to wear out my clothes with too much washing.

PitPats awesome method is the way to go if you already have an infestation though.

Nodowntime Wed 27-Jan-16 11:35:47

We did have an infestation, not like millions, but some moths were flying around, and weirdly a lot of synthetic stuff got eaten (tiny round holes all over the place). Things called Zero-In STV430 Moth Killer Hanging Unit sorted the problem for me(and manually killing every moth I could find). But then I bought a beautiful woollen persian rug, which first was in my bedroom(which had hanging thingies in the wardrobe), and then I put in in my DC's room(which didn't have anything in the wardrobe). Within a WEEK the rug was eaten! Loads of patterns were just eaten off, and it wasn't cheap, and was soo beautiful, now ruined shockangry

I immediately bought more hanging things for DC's wardrobe, and bought this spray off Amazon, called carpet moth killer

Sprayed all the woolen rugs in the house now, and keeping fingers crossed no more moths!

PitPat also gobsmacked at your military operations against moths! I'm hoping some things in the cupboard and my spray will do the job.
Two really expensive silk items I vacuum packed for storage just in case.

Yeah, I read that larvae and eggs do get killed in the deep freeze 100%, but it needs about 3 weeks there, not overnight!

Gingefringe Wed 27-Jan-16 17:15:54

I use those sticky moth traps which are scattered all over the house. It's quite scary when you see how many get caught in there. You can get them from Lakeland or Amazon (called Pheromone moth traps - they attract the males and they get stuck onto a board).
We've lost jumpers (always my favourites of course), scarves, coats and carpets to moths and hate the little buggers - we spray and hoover like mad when we spot a few flying around.
I'm also wary of buying any woollen items on eBay/charity shops as they may have eggs in them already (which are tiny).
I notice them everywhere now - most worryingly flying around in clothes shops so your clothes may already be infested when you buy them!!
Pitpat - wow - that's some operation - you are definitely doing the right thing because a few lavender balls in the wardrobe won't get rid of them.

ClaudiaNaughton Thu 28-Jan-16 19:05:37

Piglet John recommended moth killer containing Transfluthrin. He is the law. Robert Dyas sells it and it's a Rentokil product. Can't link but he wrote about moths March 2015 and I saved it. Just ordered £40 worth.

LoveGigi Thu 28-Jan-16 22:34:38

Wow wow and triple wow Pitpat!!! We too have suffered major losses including DH's wedding suit! What really chuffing hacks me off though is when you buy clothes and get moths thrown in for free. On one visit to Bluewater, I opened up a merino wool jumper in All Saints and a docile moth crawled out. I showed it to a sales assistant and her reply was "oh that's not half as bad as Ted Baker's stockroom, that's really infested" Gobsmacked! I've also had a moth appear from clothing in M&S Marble Arch branch!

m0therofdragons Thu 28-Jan-16 23:32:37

We steam clean our carpets every 6 months and use the lavender stuff from lakeland. Seems to be working. Bloody horrible things.

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