Moth Removal Services
The majority of moths in the UK (approx. 2,400 species) are harmless. However, a few are seen as pests due to the damage their larvae cause to materials, textiles and stored products. Unlike other pests, moths pose you no health risks. But they are a severe and expensive pest in businesses where dried food produce or natural fibres play a significant part.
Once inside your home or business, moths can severely damage natural fibres in carpets, clothes, fabrics, fur and even leather. Moth caterpillars cause the damage by eating the protein (keratin) found in natural materials like wool, cotton and silk.
On the one had the use of man-made fibres reduced moth problems in homes. But on the other a recent trend back towards the use of natural fibres in clothing, furniture and bedding means the dangers of moth damage are again on the increase.
How To Get Rid Of Moths
Sensible precautions include thorough cleaning of all woollens, plus storing wools and furs in sealed polythene bags or closely wrapped in paper in tightly closed drawers or cupboards – preferably in a cool room. Clean and vacuum carpets regularly, paying special attention to the edges and especially underneath furniture.
Other measures you can take yourself include spraying affected woollen garments, fabrics, and carpets with an amateur use aerosol moth proofer, especially along seams, folds and into any gaps in floors or shelves where fluff collects. Spray the under felt (not rubberised underlays) and the carpet backing.
In cases of severe infestation, the premises will need to be treated by a suitably qualified Pest Controller. Fumigation may be sufficient in a home environment. Heat treatment is also commonly used by businesses and where there are expensive fabrics, food stuffs and clothing. Here are Pest Professionals we specialise in heat treatment for moths in business premises. Call us now for more information.
COMMON MOTH PESTS IN THE UK
Brown House Moth
The commonest of the so-called clothes moths, with characteristic golden-bronze wings, flecked with black, folded flat along its back. It tends to live in damper areas, so probably not in the airing cupboard. Eggs are laid in fabric on which grubs will feed. The larvae are creamy-white caterpillars with brown heads. They grow up to 15 to 25mm long, feeding on wool, hair, fur, feathers, cork or debris from food such as dried fruit, cereals, or decaying organic foodstuffs, and are often found in old birds’ nests, from which they may enter buildings. The caterpillars spin silken cocoons in which they pupate. Only the larval stage feeds.
White-Shouldered House Moth
The white shouldered house moth is a common species closely related to the brown house moth. It is now found throughout the UK due to its close association with human environments, which creates plentiful food sources and the humidity it thrives on. It can be found in houses, outbuildings and factory environments where dried food sources such as grain maybe found. However, it is omnivorous, eating foodstuffs such as grain, bran, flour and other cereals, but also (but less commonly) feeding on wool and other animal based fabrics. It rarely eats clean foodstuffs, but prefers mouldy and/or long-standing food, and is therefore commoner where hygiene standards are lower. Bird nests are a particularly ideal environment and, if any are located nearby, a risk for them entering the house.
The Warehouse Moth is one of the most serious food storage pests in the UK, and will eat cereals, grain, vegetables, dried fruit, tobacco, nuts and chocolate. Its larva will also spoil food by excreting on it.
Common Clothes Moth
This is the most troublesome moth in the UK and the one you are most likely to find in the wardrobe. Infestations are becoming increasingly common. Moths are attracted by perspiration odours, so clean clothes are less likely to be targeted.
Damage to clothing and fabric, usually consisting of irregular holes eaten in fabrics, discarded feeding tubes and excreta from larvae, usually indicate an infestation. Larvae feed on natural fibres at night.
Case-Bearing Clothes Moth
The adult case bearing moth is brownish and has feathered ends to its wings. Each wing is 4-7mm long in width. Like all house moths they pose no direct health risks but can cause notable damage, in its larval form, to natural product fibres and materials. It may also vary its diet to include synthetic materials if natural products are not easily available.
Indian Meal Moth
If you find ‘maggots’ (larvae) with a brown head crawling on your kitchen walls and floor the most common culprit is the Indian Meal Moth. This is what we call an SPI pest (Stored Product Insect) and unlike textile moths, the larvae feed on food stuffs. Treatment involves finding the food source that’s attracting them (including checking under and around the back of kitchen units and appliances), removing it and then treating the whole area with a professional strength insecticide.