Warm Weather Woolen Storage Recommendations Against Clothes Moth Infestations
Clothes Moths require a protein called keratin as their sole food source. Keratin is found in all animal hairs, furs, hides, and feathers. The adults are about 1\2” long and are buff or tan colored. They have narrow wings and prefer dark areas. The larvae are small cream colored crawling insects that are less than ½” long. This is the life cycle stage that actually does the damage to stored items. Pupae cases are spun with a silk like thread and usually contain threads or lint from the material that the moths have been feeding on.
Sources of Infestation:
These insects can easily find their way into homes so it is very difficult, if not impossible to find out where the moths originally came from. They can land on someone’s back and be transported into the home under a jacket collar. Something as simple as hanging up your outerwear in a public location, such as a coat check can cause you to bring them home. Clothes moths are routinely found in items from department stores. Inspect all new purchases even if they are not a food source. As more people prefer and use natural fibers in clothing and home décor, we have seen an increase in clothes moths infestations. As mentioned earlier, clothes moths and larvae can also enter on new products that may use a natural fiber or hair as a secondary component such as a lining or stuffing in an upholstered piece of furniture.
The old story of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is appropriate in preventing clothes moth infestations. Store all items that may contain keratin in sealed containers. Cardboard boxes are not sufficient for this purpose. Plastic containers are best. As you are putting items in the storage container thoroughly inspect each item for evidence of clothes moth damage. Use paradiclorobenzene crystals or naphthalene crystals in with the stored items and make sure that the lid is sealed properly. Cedar pieces are not as effective in preventing clothes moths as the other materials that we are suggesting. Follow the directions on the container for more information on how to properly use these products.
Contact Pest Control Technicians for assistance with a clothes moth infestation.
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