Friday, 11 November 2016

Clothes Moths and a warning

If, like us, you thought that these innocent-looking little moths only attack small areas in old clothes and are something that can be lived with, I hope this post may be a useful warning to you ...



Over the summer, we had seen many flying around the house but, in fact, although the moths themselves are the most noticeable warning signs of infestation, it is actually the larvae who cause the damage. What is seen around the chewed areas is piles of loose carpet fibres, dust and, under a lens, the small larvae and the eggs.

In our case, my husband discovered two quite sizable patches of eaten carpet and loose pile around the edges of chair legs in the middle of our dining room about three weeks ago. We scratched our heads briefly as to cause, checked on the internet and then did a survey of the house. We found patches in many corners and chiefly around the skirting boards. (I've been told since that these animals like dark corners).


We then called in the experts. A pest control survey was done, our initial diagnosis of clothes moths was confirmed and a quote for removal was prepared. We had live moths, larvae, eggs and holes (mostly small) in every carpeted room - so I won't bore you with the details but removing them won't be cheap and we are ruing all the times we saw moths and did nothing because we had almost no clothing damage at all and didn't realise the damage the larvae were doing elsewhere.

We are now in the middle of the removal process. five spraying treatments 7 to 10 days apart, most rooms out of action or in limited use and my much valued workroom especially under attack with all the shelving pushed to the middle of the room.

The extraordinary thing about this is just how many people to whom I've mentioned our predicament reply that they know people who have the same problem ... I only wish they'd mentioned it to me before! There must be a lot of money to be made in pest control!

The only plus side to this is that we have to be out of the house for up to 6 hours on the days the treatments are done and we have in mind some enjoyable days out to use the time positively and raise our spirits.


16 comments:

  1. Wouldn't it be easier just to rip up the carpet and put in hardwood or tile? Sounds gross.....

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    1. Unfortunately, hardwood and tile throughout the house doesn't appeal - too noisy and cold (no underfloor heating) and anyway this is an old house crying out for 'cozy' rather that modern minimalist!
      As a result of your comment, I headed over to your blog and really enjoyed your Red Rising piece. Red with black and white gives such a great zing. I've been using the combination quite a bit recently.

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  2. Oh dear, what a palaver! I hope that all my lavender bags are real deterrents.

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    1. I'm told they are ... I'll certainly be investing in some!

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  3. Oh dear, so sorry to hear this. Hope the treatment does get rid of everything.

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    1. We hope so too. This year in the UK there has been something of a plague of these insects following to a mild winter and not helped by our self-indulgent lifestyle.

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  4. Oh dear How very frustrating. I do hate those little flying creatures...as you know we have mild winters here also so it's something to watch out for. I'm so sorry for your troubles. But good for ....enjoy your trips 'out'. Do you have pets??? Will they be going on your outings as well???

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    1. It's frustrating indeed but we're now living with all the mess in philosophical mood! In answer to your question about pets, yes we do. We have a cat but no she doesn't come with us. She just spends the day outside hunting which she often does anyway. Cats are pragmatic animals ... a tin of food, a warm bed, freedom to come and go and occasional petting are all that's need for contentment!

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  5. Thank you for the warning. xx

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  6. We had to have our house fumigated after having our roof replaced, there were hundreds of moths in the insulation.
    We still see them flying around but I do try and spray places I can reach quite regularly and spray all my work every so often. They are a real pain and difficult to eradicate completely, poor you.

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    1. I know we're not alone! As I suspect this will not prove to be a one-off event, I'd be most interested to know what you spray with?!

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  7. I've suffered a bit. I discovered my beautiful antique wool rug (£80 at auction!) had a bit of attack when I moved house in the spring. But I had never seen any moths and the rest of the house I wS in at the time wasn't carpeted much and what was there was mixed fibre I think. I didn't do much other than pick out any debri. Info on local DIY sprays would be good.

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    1. When I get the opportunity, I will ask the company who are dealing with this problem for us. If they come up with anything useful, I will let you know.

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