The moth, encouraged by our penchant for cashmere, is morphing into the peskiest pest and cause large amounts of damage to your wa...
Forget rodents, mosquitoes or other such ghastly vermin, there is a far more troublesome pest doing the rounds – moths. The nation's wardrobes are under siege from these clothes-eating critters. It's reaching plague-like proportions, and the problem is you may not know you're infested until the damage is done.
Aptly described as the "pest of affluence", these beasts have expensive tastes, preying on the most luxurious and exotic of fabrics – namely cashmere, lambswool, fur and feathers. Though, they do find wool carpets equally tasty. But the snobby pedantic little monsters don't have an appetite for synthetics. These moths, or their larvae (hatched eggs) to be more scientifically correct, will attack anything with keratin in it, because it's a natural textile.
It is believed that they have a lifecycle of between 70 to 90 days and the adults can lay 40 to 50 eggs in that brief period. Summer is their time for breeding.
Once the sole preserve of the very wealthy, cashmere and other such high-quality knits are now available at a fraction of the cost. Many experts believe that the boom in cashmere in recent years has contributed to the proliferation in the moth population. Others attribute it to climate change. Whatever the cause, the reality is, they're here and their doing irreparable harm with pest control companies reporting a massive increase in callouts to deal with harmful infestations.
The first issue to deal with is to identify the culprit – a feat that is not nearly as easy as you might imagine. Moths come in many shapes and sizes, categories and subcategories and are the subject of many a hefty textbook. One of the most prolific moth species in the UK is the common clothes moth – an insect that measures just a quarter of an inch long and has red hairs on its head and feathery wings. It is the male of the species who causes the damage, and enjoys nothing more than a diet of linen, cashmere, feathers, wool and fur.
As many people will testify, it's neither simple nor cheap to exorcise your beloved boudoir of these sinful creatures. Often, the whole house needs to be sprayed with a moth-poison, and that's just the beginning.
To guarantee full elimination, every piece of clothing no matter what the fabric, would need to be either dry cleaned, washed at 90°C (moth extermination has no time for eco-friendly low-temperature washes) or frozen, should you wish to replace your peas and joints of meat with bags of knitwear. And no piece of clothing should be returned to its home in the cupboard until absolutely everything else has been cleaned, because of the risk of re-contamination.
So for anyone who doesn't want their expensive and fashionable knits resembling a fisherman's net, take heed. The first sign that you have a problem is when you see adult moths. You should then immediately check for damage. If you find it, you should remove all of your clothing from the wardrobes, get the area treated either by using an insecticide or by giving it a good cleanout and removing all the larvae.
Other techniques to rid your wardrobe of these pests include putting woollens in the freezer for a few days to destroy the eggs. Though garments should be wrapped in plastic first to prevent a potentially damaging build-up of moisture.
Also, some people swear by lavender oil to rid them of these wicked creatures. Others believe conkers hold the key. Though, judging by the tales of moth horror circulating and the great lengths people have had to go to, professional help seems to be the only viable solution.
Article provided by SDA Pest Control