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HOW TO COMBAT CLOTHES MOTHS: OUR 5-STEP GUIDE

Written By Clothes Doctor Admin 25 Feb 2019

When it comes to maintaining our wardrobe, there’s nothing more disheartening than picking out your favourite piece and finding that it has been damaged by clothes moths and their larvae.

HOW TO COMBAT CLOTHES MOTHS: OUR 5-STEP GUIDE

When it comes to maintaining our wardrobe, there’s nothing more disheartening than picking out your favourite piece and finding that it has been damaged by clothes moths and their larvae.

It might come as a surprise to learn that the moth itself does not cause the damage, but the larvae, which feed on natural fibres such as cashmere, wool, and silk.

These pesky creates can do unprecedented damage if left untreated, so it’s best to get to the root of the problem as soon as you become aware of an infestation.

ACCORDING TO ENGLISH HERITAGE, THERE HAS BEEN A SHARP INCREASE IN CLOTHES MOTHS IN OUR HOMES OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS.

With these easy steps, and with the new year just around the corner, there is no better time to overhaul your wardrobe and address those clothes moths once and for all...moth_treatment_cupboard

1) CLEAR OUT

A disorganised and cluttered wardrobe is a key factor in attracting clothes moths; they are particularly drawn to warm, dark, undisturbed, and hidden areas, hence the pile of clothes lurking at the back of the wardrobe is a haven for moths to thrive.

As a first step, take everything out from your wardrobe and thoroughly check over each garment for damage. Clothes moths are particularly attracted to knitwear but have also been known to feast on other fabrics too. Moth-related damage tends to come in the form of a small cluster of holes (generally smaller than a £2 coin), typically on the front or sleeves where debris are more likely to reside.

When clearing out your wardrobe, ensure all areas are vacuumed and cleaned (we recommend using a light detergent to kill off any residual moth larvae).

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2) CLEAN

Moth larvae feed on dust, hair (human and pet!), dead skin cells, and any other surface debris. In order to prevent any further or future damage to your clothing, it is important to keep all items clean. Remember to check the care label in each garment before cleaning, as some fabrics such as delicate cashmere are hand wash or dry clean only. With machine washable items, wash at the highest appropriate temperature, as this will give you the best chance of removing any larvae clinging to the fabric.

We would also advise not to reintroduce any clothing back into your wardrobe that isn’t clean, as this will be counter-productive in fighting off clothes moths. It is worth noting that vintage items are more likely to attract moths as they will inherently carry more debris and dirt than newer items; ensure these are kept clean and store separately if necessary.

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3) TREAT

We recommend freezing as an all-natural anti-moth treatment to destroy clothes moths, larvae, and eggs; avoid using toxic products as these can be transferred onto skin and cause irritation. Freezing is an alternative method that is both odour and chemical-free. Place your garments in air-tight moth-proof bags and tightly seal, pressing out any air from the bag. Check out our anti-moth treatment here. Freeze garments for at least 48 hours, and up to 2 weeks for full effect.

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4) REPAIR

Repairing any damage as soon as possible is the best way to prevent the holes from increasing in size when worn (especially holes on sleeves). The traditional fix for moth-holes is a darning technique, which involves a delicate weave in matching fabric to repair the hole. Find out more about our moth-hole repair here or get in contact to hear more about our invisible repair options.

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5) STORE

Correct storage of your items can save you time and money invested in moth-related damage. We would recommend lining your drawers with anti-moth paper and adding cedarwood balls or a lavender bag with your clothes, as these deter clothes moths. If you are planning on storing items away for a longer period, ziplock air-tight bags are the best storage method to keep clothes moths away. It is also important to keep your wardrobe clean and tidy, and even ventilated if possible, and avoid throwing clothes in piles at the back!

 

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