The Telegraph reports a horrific story of a woman who tried to be good to the planet by using eco-friendly wool insulation. But what she got was a massive moth infestation and over ?10,000 in damage.
A moth infestation is no joke. If left untreated, it can cost you. But fortunately, there are some simple ways to prevent and treat most infestations before they turn into a nightmare like the one reported in The Telegraph.
Let’s explore how.
Our Friend the Moth
Moths serve an important function on the planet. Along with bees, butterflies, wasps and other winged insects, they help fertilise our crops. Without them, we wouldn’t have food and flowers. We owe a lot to these little insects.
But these humble little grey and brown creatures can also do a lot of damage when they get into our homes. That’s why prevention and treatment of moth infestation is so important.
It all starts with inspection.
1. Inspect Your Cupboards
Inspect all food that comes into your kitchen. Insects, like moths, naturally look for cosy plant products to lay their eggs in.
It may happen on the farm. It may happen in a factory. It could happen during transport or even while the food is on the shelves in the grocery.
There’s no real way to prevent it because moths are such an important part of food production.
Look for signs on eggs and larvae. Remember, the moth larvae are little caterpillars. The eggs will look like tiny beige dots on the packaging or actual food.
- Baking mix
You might find them on the inside of jar lids or tops on your spices. They adore your pet’s food too.
If you find any infested food, return it to the grocery if you just bought it. Or toss it in the refuse outside to avoid further exposure.
2. Clean Your Cabinets
Make sure that your cabinets aren’t harbouring more bugs.
Wipe down your pantry and any other food storage areas with warm, soapy water or a vinegar solution.
If you have a known infestation take out all liners and shelves to give them a thorough cleaning. Don’t forget the walls and doors.
Every surface should be cleaned.
3. Put Nuts/Grains in Freezer
Nuts and grains are the worst. Moths lay their eggs on them. When those eggs hatch the larvae eat the tasty food source. This can completely spoil your dry goods.
When dry goods come into your home, put them in the freezer for about a week before placing them in the cupboard normally. This will kill any eggs that may be in your flour.
If you purchase raw nuts that won’t be eaten within a week, you may want to freeze those too.
4. Store Grains in Jars
You can take this a step further by storing your grain in sealed jars. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will quickly die without oxygen. You won’t even know they were there.
But you will get the extra protein.
If you’re dealing with an active infestation, this can help prevent the moth infestation from spreading.
5. Get Natural Repellents
Certain items are known to inhibit a moth infestation.
Among them, putting bay leaves, lavender, mint and/or cedar in your mothy area may help reduce the populations or prevent further infestations.
Why not raise fresh mint in your home so you always have some on hand?
6. Clean Flour Spills Promptly
Reducing the food supply is important. If you spill flour or other grain products in cupboards or on the floor, clean and mop thoroughly to avoid creating a new breeding ground.
Now on to the closets!
7. Avoid Collecting Dirty Clothing
Fabric-eating moths can destroy your favourite sweaters. Don’t let them.
Moths are attracted to your soiled clothing so always launder all clothing, coats, gloves, etc. before storing them away for the season.
If you have an actual moth infestation, know that only hot water kills existing eggs. If you’re more concerned with prevention then tepid water is okay as a preventative.
8. Regularly Vacuum
Carpet and baseboards can harbour eggs, especially in closets. Vacuum regularly as a preventative. If you have a moth infestation, use a bag vacuum and dispose of the bag immediately outside.
9. Store Susceptible Fabrics Properly
Wool, silk and other fabrics made from animals are moth favourites. Take extra care to store them in airtight plastic containers.
Use packing tape around any crevices to ensure there’s no way for moths to get in.
10. Iron Clothing
The heat from an iron will also kill moth eggs. If you suspect that moths have already gotten to your favourite coat, try ironing it.
Be careful. Follow manufacturer’s directions. If unsure about whether the fabric can be ironed, opt for dry cleaning instead.
11. Freeze It All
It may sound silly. But putting your wool sweaters in the freezer before you store them isn’t a bad idea.
It will kill the eggs.
12. Use Natural Repellents Here Too
Just like in the kitchen, you should use natural repellents to help prevent a moth infestation and/or reduce its impact.
Some others to try are:
Won’t your clothes smell amazing! But you may want to avoid mixing too many scents.
13. Know When to Get Professional Help
Moths can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. Prevention is important, but if you’re dealing with a moth infestation, getting help sooner rather than later can save you from a lot of unnecessary damage. You may lose kilos of food, clothing and other household fabrics.
If there aren’t going away, call a professional.
Stop the Moth Infestation Now
You don’t have to live with moth flatmates. There are some great ways to prevent infestations and treat existing infestations.
But don’t wait until these humble little creatures have done massive damage. Call us on 0161 776 9832 to schedule an appointment today.