The common clothes moth is approximately 6-8mm in length, and is a shiny buff colour with no markings. Case-bearing clothes moths are smaller, around 5-6mm in length, and are a darker brown, with three faint spots on their wings. The larvae of the case bearing clothes moth are around 5-7mm long. They create a case around them out of fibres and its own silk.
Clothes moths can digest the protein Keratin, which is the main constituent of natural materials such as fur, feathers and wool. Therefore, the first sign of their presence may be damage to clothes or bald patches in carpet. These patches are more likely to appear around the edges of the room, or around rarely moved furniture. You will see the adult moths around the whole property, and you may also see the larvae crawling on the floor.
No, clothes moths pose no risk to health, although they can cause a lot of damage to clothes and furnishings if not controlled.
If you think you have clothes moths in your property, Arun District Council is able to help. We offer a prompt and professional treatment, and may be able to offer advice on future prevention. All services are chargeable, and the charge will cover you until the treatment is complete, with no hidden extras. Please call Arun Direct on 01903 737755 to arrange an appointment. Please note, the fee will be payable at the time of booking, so please have your card details ready. All payments are non-refundable.
Many people use ‘mothballs’ to keep a moth problem under control. They are designed to prevent moulds and insects from damaging products. These products are sublimates, which means that they evaporate, and at certain concentrations will kill insects. In open spaces such as wardrobes etc, they are most likely to simply act as a repellent, and may not resolve the problem.
Prior to our visit, we ask that you do a few things to ensure that the treatment is as effective as possible. We recommend that you vacuum the property thoroughly, including around the edges and underneath furniture, and dispose of the contents of the vacuum. All surfaces and floors (including under beds), should be cleared of paperwork, toys, clothing etc. All animal bedding should be washed, and any fish tanks, hamster cages etc, should be covered over.
We will attend your premises on the agreed date. Our Pest Control Officer will survey and spray water based residual insecticide throughout the property.
After the treatment has been undertaken, you can help us further by leaving the premises for three hours to allow the spray to dry, and not vacuuming the property for 21 days after the treatment.
The larval stage is the stage that does the damage. Adults of both the common and case bearing carpet moths live approximately two weeks, and survive by taking in fluids only. Clothes moth numbers are increasing, partly due to global warming, but possibly more due to extremely effective insecticides being removed from sale due to their inflammable properties. Clothes moths rarely fly to light, preferring darkness, and the females hardly fly at all, travelling mainly by walking. The females will produce 40-50 eggs, and will die afterwards. These take up to ten days to hatch. Depending on the environment, the larvae will moult between 5 and 45 times, and can take between 35 days and two and a half years to develop. The case bearing clothes moth gets its name from the case the larvae create, by mixing natural fibres with its own silk. It feeds and pupates within this case. Sometimes infestations can start in rooves where birds are, or have been, nesting.