Watch out for moths - infestations on the rise

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

Watch out for moths  - infestations on the rise

Rentokil Initial is advising home and business owners to be on the lookout for moths, with cases of infestations of the pests rising by 128% in the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2016. 

Moths thrive in warm humid environment and Ireland’s warmer and more humid weather, has offered ideal breeding condition for moths. For business owners, moths can cause thousands of euro of damage to carpets, curtains and upholstery. The winged creatures can also wreak havoc in homes once an infestation takes hold in a wardrobe or cupboard, damaging clothes and fabrics that may be stored for another season or that people may have a particular attachment to.

Dr Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager at Rentokil says,  ‘’When spring cleaning it’s important to make sure you get into cracks and crevices to get rid of pests. Once inside the home, moths lay eggs in dark and rarely disturbed areas where clothes or other textiles are stored. High risk areas in the home include spare rooms, under beds, infrequently used wardrobes and attics where moths are attracted to discarded bird nests.

Follow the steps below to help prevent against moths:

  • Always clean clothes before storing them - dirty or soiled clothing is particularly attractive to moths.
  • Keep stored clothing and textiles in sealed plastic bags or suitcases
  • Vacuum regularly - ensure hidden areas such as under furniture are regularly vacuumed to remove moth eggs before they hatch.

Some indications that there is already a moth problem in your home include: adult moths (often crawling rather than flying); maggot-like larvae (moth caterpillars); the silken tubes or cases in which moth larvae live; and pupae (silk cocoons) in which larvae turn into moths.
 
A relation of the butterfly, there are thought to be 160,000 species of moth in the world; however, there are four species of moth that commonly infest in the home: Common Clothes Moth, Case-Bearing Clothes Moth and Brown House Moth, which all cause damage to textiles plus the less damaging White-Shouldered House Moth.