11 April 2023
By Tom Collins
Pest control company advises starting spring cleaning early to help avoid potential damage to valued possessions
Rentokil, Ireland’s leading pest control provider, is warning the public to be on the lookout for moths in their premises at this time of year. The spring months are when clothes, stored products, and scavenger moths begin breeding and become more active. Moth larvae can damage and create holes in clothes, carpets, blankets, and curtains as well as stored goods by feeding on the keratin contained in animal fibres such as wool, fur, silk, feathers, felt, and leather.
The top five counties which accounted for the most moth callouts from Rentokil for the past five months were: Dublin, which accounted for 19% of moth callouts, Galway (15% of callouts), Cork (11%), Waterford (7%) and Kerry (3%).
Textile moths are most likely to be found in spare bedrooms, under mattresses, infrequently used wardrobes, and attics. As moth larvae feed on the keratin in the fabric they can cause significant damage to clothes, blankets, carpets, curtains, and upholstery. By spring cleaning these areas and properly packing away winter clothes, homeowners can reduce the risk of moth larvae eating into valued possessions.
The presence of moths can become very costly for home or business owners, both financially and emotionally – nobody wants to find holes in a quilt handed down from a beloved grandparent or in a carefully stored wedding dress. And no one wants to see their hard work wasted with stored products destroyed through moths feeding.
Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager for Rentokil, said: “There are a number of steps that people can take to guard against the presence of moths. By following this advice, you can help to avoid moth infestations in your home or business:
- Always ensure that clothes are clean before storing them – soiled and dirty clothes are more likely to attract moths.
- Ensure that clothes that are being stored for long periods of time, such as suits and wedding dresses, are placed inside appropriately sealed bags or suitcases.
- Use fly screens or keep curtains drawn at night to help prevent moths from entering your home.
- Clean and vacuum regularly in order to remove moth eggs before they hatch; this is particularly important in times of the year with increased moth activity such as in the spring and summer.
People can find out more about moth infestations by visiting the Rentokil website.”
There are four commonly found species of moth in Ireland each with a preference for different textiles, and each varying in the damage that they cause to materials:
- Common clothes moth cause irregularly shaped holes in textiles.
- Brown house moth larvae are attracted to animal-based materials such as feathers and leather.
- Case-bearing clothes moth larvae cause smaller and more regularly shaped holes in textiles.
- White-shouldered house moth larvae are less damaging to textiles as they scavenge a wide range of food.