The Clothes Moth (Tineola biselliella) is a common textile pest, infamous for causing extensive and irreparable damage to expensive clothing. Clothes moth larvae feed on keratin found within natural fibres, such as wool, cashmere, silk and furs. They will also feed off blended materials containing natural fibres such as cotton. Ifleft untreated, a clothes moth infestation can spread and lead to damage to wool carpets and other soft furnishings.
Identifying the Clothes Moth
Smaller than a typical house moth, the clothes moth has a body about 7mm long and a typical wingspan of between 10-15mm.
The clothes moth’s forewings range from copper to pale gold coloured, with their hind wings typically paler and thinner.
Low levels of light are preferred by both the adult moths and larvae, and they typically harbour in areas away from light.
The Lifecycle of a Clothes Moth
Under favourable conditions of adequate heat and humidity, especially in the spring and summer months moth reproduction increases, and the lifecycle speeds up meaning that an egg can develop into an adult clothes moth within 1-2 months.
In less favourable conditions, especially during the colder months, development of the larvae can take much longer, although due to central heating and better insulation in homes nowadays, it is often the case that reproduction and development continues to take place all year round, albeit at a slower rate in the winter.
Checking for a Clothes Moth infestation
Signs that you have an infestation of clothes moths include finding irregular holes in woollen or cashmere sweaters or suits or any silk, fur or leather garments. Typically, you would expect to find damage under collars, cuffs, and underarm areas of clothing and you may also find cluster of eggs or 'webbing', which resembles very fine cobwebs. Occasionally you may see adult clothes moths flitting about, although this is not always the case.
How to get rid of Clothes Moths
You can achieve clothes moth control by spraying the internal panels of wardrobes and drawers with a residual insecticide called Formula C Moth Spray and fumigating infested rooms with a Formula P Fogger. To maintain long-lasting clothes moth control after treatment and provide ongoing protection to your clothes you can use Clothes Moth Traps, hang Moth Killer Cassettes on your garment rails and line drawers with Moth Killer Strips.
For more information on clothes moth treatment, please click on this link. For details on all our clothes moth killer products and to make a purchase, please click on the Moth Category tab above or here. In addition to the products mentioned above, we highly recommend our bestselling Clothes Moth Kits which provide all you need to eradicate a clothes moth infestation in your home. Our Kits are supplied with step-by-step instructions to enable you to carry out a simple and hassle-free treatment to get rid of clothes moths and keep your home moth free without the cost of a professional technician.
Follow these simple steps to achieve complete Clothes Moth control:
1. Take children and/or pets out of the room prior to treatment. Cover or remove any fish tanks.
2. Empty wardrobes and drawers, inspecting clothing for signs of moth damage or webbing. Discard any heavily infested items and bag up items containing natural fibres to be dry cleaned or laundered on as high a temperature as possible according to the garment label.
3. Apply Formula C+ Moth Killer Spray to the internal panels of wardrobes and drawers. If you have woollen or wool mix carpets in the same room, we recommend that you also apply the spray to the edges of the room and under furniture. Once surfaces are dry to the touch you can replace all unaffected clothing, hanging the Moth Killer Cassettes in between garments in the wardrobe and lining drawers with Moth Killer Strips.
4. Next, place the Formula P+ Fogger in the centre of the room or within the wardrobe and push down firmly on the trigger to activate. Be sure to hold the canister away from you when activating as the gas is released under high pressure.
5. Leave the room and allow 2-3 hours for the gas to disperse and then upon returning, open any windows and doors for approx 30 minutes to ventilate thoroughly.
6. Install moth traps in the room to monitor activity. Fold the plastic holder into a toblerone shape, peel the backing strip off one of the pheromone pads and insert into the trap with the sticky side facing out. Each pheromone pad is effective for 4-6 weeks.
To download our Clothes Moth Advice sheet, please click on the PDF icon here.