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How to get rid of moths in your home or commercial premises:
1. Treat affected clothing by washing or wrapping in black plastic and exposing to direct sunlight for 2-3 hours
2. The use of space sprays can be effective in knocking down adult moths
3. Install Clothe Moth traps to capture bredding adults and help break the breeding cycle
4. If carpets are affected, treat carpets with a surface spray using a registered insecticide.|
Not all moths are pests of fabrics. The casemaking clothes moth and the webbing clothes moth attack materials mainly from animals such as woollens, felts and furs. These moths generally occur in the more humid coastal regions where larvae can do extreme damage to carpets and clothing. The adult clothes moths are small usually up to 10mm in length and yellow or gold to buff in colour. Their wings are fringed and narrow and have a siphon like sucking mouthparts, although the adults do not feed. The larvae which cause all the damage have chewing mouthparts and are white in colour with a dark head and six legs. The larvae looks like a caterpillar in appearance, but the casemaking clothes moth larvae live in cases made of silk and fibres from material in which they are feeding. The colour of the case might give you an indication of the material it is feeding on, especially if it has migrated away from the feeding site. The webbing clothes moth moves freely within its food material without a protective case.
Female clothes moths usually lay their eggs on materials that will provide suitable food source for larval development. Eggs hatch in five to ten days and then the caterpillar like larvae feed in dark undisturbed places. The feeding period is usually two to six months. The larvae of the webbing clothes moth pupate within the material in which they feed while the casemaking clothes moth larvae leave the food material in their cases and pupate behind cupboards, on walls and picture rails.
Clothing affected by clothes moths can be sterilised by washing or wrapping in black plastic and exposing in the sun for two to three hours.
The use of sprays and traps are effective when applied or left in clothing storage areas such as wardrobes. When clothes moths attack floor coverings it is important to take note of the edges and behind furniture as these are favoured areas for breeding due to its very little disturbance.