Common House Moth Damage
Common House Moth Damage

We all recognise smells that remind us of our childhood. Fragrances that promote nostalgia and memories of those people close to us. Many of those smells revolved around our parents’ cooking, baking and cleaning.

A smell that many of us remember was the chemical scent that seeped from our wardrobes and clothing drawers; the odour of mothballs.

We all embrace feelings of nostalgia. Periods of time in the past with happy associations and feelings of sentimentality. However, nostalgia is selective and our brain tempers the bad experiences; pushing the unpleasant into the darker recesses of our memory.

Moth balls, back in the day, contained nearly 100-percent active chemical ingredients. Moth balls were a primary method of preventing common house moth damage. Each of the active ingredients could cause different health effects if the exposure was high enough. The mothballs slowly sublimated through time, in other words, the moth balls changed from a solid to a toxic gas. So, in effect you were inhaling the insecticide. Moth balls could be also dangerous if ingested, for instance, children or pets may have mistaken moth balls for food or sweets.

Modern moth balls are more user friendly. Mothballs, used with care, are a viable option for moth control. So, how can the problem of moth infestation be tackled using modern techniques?

Firstly, we have to look at who we are up against?

What is the Common House Moth?

There are over 2000 moth species, four types can cause problems in your house or business.

  • The Brown House Moth (hofmannophila pseudospretella) is common house moth in Britain. The adult is between 8 and 14 mm long. It is primarily brown in colour with three or 4 darker spots. This moth likes to feed on animal textiles like your woolly jumpers, leather jackets and the feathers of your boa.
  • The Case-Bearing Clothes Moth (tinea pellionella), this creature makes regular holes in fabrics. The adults are between 6 and 8 mm long and they have dark coloured wings with three faint spots. The larvae is up to 10 mm long and it is creamy white in colour.
  • The Common Clothes Moth (tineola bisselliella). The common clothes moth larvae is responsible for making holes in fabrics. The adult moth is 6 to 8 mm long with straw coloured wins and no distinctive markings. The Common Clothes Moths has wings with strongly fringed trailing edges. The larvae is up to 10mm long and it has a creamy white body with a brown head.
  • The White Shouldered House Moth (endrosis sarcitrella), causes damage to fabrics. The full grown moth is 6 to 10 mm long, it has a white head with mottled wings. The larvae are up to 12 millimetres long with a cream coloured body and a red brown head.

What impact do common house moths have on your house?

Homes will come under attack throughout the life cycle of the moth. Common house moth damage primarily affects clothing and furniture fabric. Common house moth damage begins with the larvae. The larvae spin silk webbing into a tunnel across the material which causes holes in clothes or carpets. Moreover, moths can go through up to 3 life cycles in one year in warm conditions.

What causes the infestation?

Like a moth attracted to a flame, moths can be attracted into a house by bright lights. Moths can gain access through open windows.

The most significant method of attack is via the kitchen. Food stored in kitchens attract moth species. The moths lay their eggs in stored grains, nuts and other processed products. Moths often enter houses inside infested food packaging. Eggs hatch into larvae, who eat stored foodstuffs. After that the moths will spread throughout the house.

What can I do to get rid of the moths?

Above all, knowing what attracts moths is the best way to help locate the source of infestations. Adults flying around the house are easy to spot. You can find larvae inside stored food or hiding in cracks located within the kitchen.

  • Remove affected food when larvae are found in kitchen cupboards.
  • common house moth damage includes holes in clothing. Check wardrobes and chests of drawers for clothes moth activity.
  • Vacuuming to remove moth adults and larvae. Dry cleaning or washing and drying infested clothes. In addition, avoid overcrowding wardrobes and routinely inspect clothes for damage.
  • For pantry pest prevention, use a vacuum inside the pantry to keep things clean. Store products in sealed containers. Practice “first in-first out” procedures to help ensure that old, out of date products do not accumulate.
  • Active moth infestations are tough to handle alone. It’s important to call in an expert in pest control.

  • Steam cleaning carpets can be effective in controlling moth larvae. Although you will need professional help to tackle larvae in hard to reach areas beneath skirting boards and underlay. 
  • Steam cleaning clothing using a handheld steamer can have two positive effects. Firstly, removing moth larvae and, secondly, doing away with those pesky creases in your favourite lounge suit.

It’s time to call the moth man; expert pest control from

The moth control experts from follow a trusted and safe procedure to deal with common house moth damage:

  1. A full risk assessment is completed.
  2. Full personal protective equipment is worn by our technicians on all moth treatments.
  3. The treatment normally takes 1/2 visits, depending on the level of activity and it has a 100% success rate.
  4. Residual insecticide is applied using a fog machine. This method ensures that the treatment reaches areas that a regular pump spray would not reach. In other words, this method will kill any flying adult moths.
  5. We advise the customer and their pets to vacate the property for 2 hours after treatment. The treatment will need to dry.
  6. We advise not to vacuum for up to 2 weeks after the treatment has been carried out.
  7. In addition, all aquatic life needs to be removed.
  8. The chemical may leave a white powder residue on any dark furniture. The residue does not cause any damage. The white powder is easy to wipe away.
  9. The treatment is dry and very safe. Our technicians regularly treat children’s rooms and nurseries.

How can I stop the moths returning to my house?

Check out the tips listed above in the section titled ‘What can I do to get rid of the moths?’, in addition there are several techniques that you can implement to prevent common house moth infestation:

  • Check for moths in the creases and folds of clothing. Check behind the lapels and labels of your jackets and trousers.
  • Make sure that clothes are clean before folding and storing them in vacuum bags or boxes with sealed lids.
  • It is important to vacuum around the bottom edges of wardrobes and, similarly, any shelves on which you keep your clothing.
  • Check underneath seats of chairs and couches, check around piping and deep buttons of chair cushions and other furniture.
  • Make sure that you check lofts and attics for bird nests. After that, remove and destroy any nest material that you may find.
  • After using your vacuum cleaner empty the contents into a black plastic bag. Seal the bag and dispose of it as quickly in an outside bin.

In conclusion, moths can have a costly impact on your home. Expert help from will negate the impact of a moth infestation by common house moth species.

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