You’ve spotted more than just one moth. London is your location. You may be in Kent. Not to worry – we provide professional, friendly moth pest control services across Kent and the capital, and moths are one of our specialities. Here’s some information about the threat posed by moth infestations, how to spot them, and ways to prevent moth infestations.
Moth pest control
There are more than two and a half thousand types of moth in Britain, and they’re almost all completely harmless. But two common species of moth can cause issues: the clothes moth or carpet moth, and the pantry or food moth.
The clothes moth, also known as the carpet moth, causes damage to natural fabrics like linen, wool, cotton, silk, fur and feathers, while the pantry moth causes issues with stored food. While it isn’t nice having moths in your home or commercial premises, neither type actually poses a health risk to humans or animals.
About the clothes moth
Clothes moths have a lifecycle of anything from 65 – 90 days from egg to adult, and can lay as many as 50 eggs at a time as adults, that’s 300 eggs in a lifetime lasting roughly 30 days. If you notice small holes appearing in your clothing, carpets or other fabric items, you may well have a clothes moth infestation.
It’s best to deal with the issue promptly to stop things from getting worse. If you’re a commercial business dealing in fabrics, these moths can and do cause millions of pounds worth of damage, another good reason to get them dealt with as soon as the early signs appear.
Contrary to popular belief the moths don’t actually eat fabric. But their larvae do. Low key infestations can usually be taken care of yourself, but large or recurring problems benefit from professional support. We’ll help you identify the moths in question, recommend effective moth pest control solutions to exterminate them, and advise you about how to stop them coming back.
Clothes moth prevention
Once your clothes moth problem has been dealt with, there are plenty of basic actions you can take to stop them getting out of control again. It helps to regularly change the bags inside vacuum cleaners, removing any trapped larvae and eggs. It also helps to give all vulnerable fabrics in the area a good wash, including your soft furnishings, bed linen, curtains and towels, and also carefully clean and wash any wardrobes, cupboards and drawers where the moths hide, including the tiny cracks and crevices where stray moth eggs might survive. If you have any suitcases and bags in the area, carefully clean them out too.
About the food moth
Food moths, also called Indian meal moths or pantry moths, sometimes Mediterranean flour moths, can cause havoc in kitchens and food storage areas. The larvae and almost invisible eggs often get into homes by taking a lift on packages of food or even bird seed.
If you spot a single pantry moth flying around your kitchen, it’s often a sign that there are more, with an infestation on the cards. It hints that the moths have already laid eggs, which have hatched, and the adult moth you’ve seen is the first to emerge in search of a mate.
The moth’s lifecycle completes in as few as 30 days or as many as 300, depending on the conditions. The warmer it is and the more food is available, the faster the cycle goes. The eggs are whitish grey and only a couple of hundredths of an inch long, and just one female can pay around 400 eggs at time, directly onto food.
The eggs tend to hatch within just 7 days and the caterpillar-like larva can grow as long as half an inch, at which point you can’t really miss them! If you do miss them, you might eventually spot a cocoon-like web that the larva create when pupating. In serious cases you’ll find moths, eggs and larvae in cupboards, in food containers, hidden in crevices, behind things, under things, more or less everywhere.
Food moth prevention
To prevent a recurrence get rid of any infested foods, including pet foods, and also throw out the packaging the foods come in, which could hide larvae and eggs. Then clean the room carefully, paying attention to shelf liners, nooks, crannies and corners, shelves themselves, cupboards, walls, floors and skirting boards. Hoover then wipe everything down with either hot, soapy water or vinegar. And throw the hoover bag away outdoors, not in your kitchen bin.
After you’ve eliminated the moths it’s sensible to store grains, nuts, flour, baking mixes and other loose foods in containers the moths can’t get into, lidded ones made from plastic or glass. And it makes sense to keep on checking, since the eggs and larvae are so tiny it’s easy to miss them. Always keep the room super-clean, and clean up food spills straight away.
If you’re looking for highly effective professional pest control north London, pest control east London or services anywhere in the Kent or London area, we’re perfectly qualified to help you eliminate clothes moth and food moth infestations quickly and thoroughly. Just give us a call and we’ll be delighted to help.