There are two main types of pest moths – clothes moths and pantry moths. As their names suggest, one infests food items in pantries, and the other infests clothing in closets and drawers.
The Webbing Clothes Moth is the most common fabric damaging moth here in BC. It is not the moths themselves, but their larval stage that is causing damage to the fabrics. The larvae look like small white worms. They prefer natural fibres from animals, such as wool and silk, although they can also damage cotton or other types of fabric. Historically, people used to put mothballs in their closet to help control the moths. Although mothballs are still available in some areas, we do not recommend their use. Napthalene used to be the active ingredient, but now it is usually paradichlorobenzene, as it is less flammable. Both emit a gas into the area the mothball is in, and can be harmful if the exposure is high enough. If you can smell the mothballs, you are inhaling the pesticide. Rather than using mothballs, we recommend to launder any clothing that is visibly damaged by the moths, and vacuuming thoroughly around the bottom of the closet and any cracks or crevices present. If this does not control the problem, we can perform a professional treatment that does not involve the constant emission of pesticide gasses into the home.
The Indian Meal Moth is the most common food infesting moth here in BC. If you are seeing lots of these moths, the first step is to look through all of your food items, particularly grain products. You will usually find the source of the infestation in an old bag of flour, cereal, pancake mix, etc. Dispose of any infested food immediately. We would then recommend to store grain products in sealed airtight containers to prevent further infestation. The problem that many people experience is that the larval stage of the moths can crawl out from the infested food and hide in cracks and crevices, and emerge over the coming weeks and months. It can be difficult to control a pantry moth infestation on your own. The X-Terminators can perform a professional treatment to be sure all life stages are controlled and the problem will be solved.
Some people buy pheromone lures and traps to control moths. Although these are an excellent way to monitor the moths’ activity and numbers, they are not likely to fully control an infestation, as only male moths are attracted by the lures. Also be sure to buy the correct type of lure – the clothes moth lures will not attract pantry moths, and vice versa.