How To Handle Moth Damage
Moths are similar to carpet beetles, and feed on protein. Although a frequent source of moth infestation is old furniture and clothing, they can also be brought in from the outside through open doors or by sticking to our clothes and shoes. The type of moths that cause damage to our clothing and fabrics are not the same as moths attracted to light. These moths live in dark, quiet places and feed off of protein; making storage areas, articles of clothing and upholstered furniture prime living spaces for them to breed.
As previously noted in Three Facts About Moth Damage And Your Clothing, moth damage can be difficult to detect. The moths lay camouflage webbing to hide and protect their larvae which blends with most fabrics causing the most damage. This means that moth damage may not be visible at first and can continue to live within your space for years before holes in your sweaters will become obvious.
That is why it’s important to have all stored garments dry cleaned upon removal even if moth damage is not initially detected. In order to disinfect and destroy potential spread of larvae, items must be washed in temperatures over 120℉.
If moth damage is detected, start by locating the initial source in order to avoid the spread of infestation. If you’re concerned about moth infestation in more than one area of your home, you may want to consider hiring the help of a professional exterminator. Over the counter pesticides may not be as potent as needed and must be handled with care.
Once the initial source is located be sure to vacuum the entire house including closets, storage areas and behind furniture. Vacuum brushes should be disinfected and bags should be disposed of immediately in order to avoid spreading infestation.
Small amounts of damage may be repaired at your local cleaners or tailors, however items with more than mild damage should be cleaned and thrown away. Many times moth damage may not be noticeable until items have been washed several times, and the fibers start to pull apart.
If you’re concerned about moth damage on your clothing, notify your cleaners ahead of time so that they can prepare and handle your items appropriately with care.
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