How to get rid of Clothes Moths

moths clothes tineola bisselliella how to get rid of

Clothes moths (Tineola bisselliella) are a species of insect of the order Lepidoptera, first reported in the nineteenth century. Although specific to the northern hemisphere (Europe, Asia), the species has also spread to Australia. In some regions, two more species of clothes moths have been identified: Tinea pellionella and Hofmannophila pseudospretella (less common).

They have a biological cycle consisting of 4 stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The larvae (caterpillars) of this species are considered harmful in several regions, for the degradation of textile fibers (especially those of wool and silk). Adult females lay their eggs near textiles; they are especially attracted by the smell of skin secretions or other organic substances, which can provide the larvae with both food and fluids. After hatching, the larvae begin to feed on the keratin proteins found in the textile fibers, degrading the materials.

moths clothes tineola bisselliella how to get rid of

Signs of a clothes moths infestation

Unlike other types of moths, clothes moths are rarely seen because they are light-avoiding insects. The main sign of the presence of these pests is the signs of degradation of textiles. They prefer materials made from animal fiber, such as wool, fur, silk, feathers, leather. They can damage both clothes and upholstery, beds, carpets, toys, decorative items, etc.

In general, they operate in dark, rarely accessed spaces: cabinets, crates or storage boxes, attics, basements.

It is important to note that the damage caused by the larvae of clothes moths is similar to that caused by another species of insect, Anthrenus verbasci (carpet beetle). In this case, the detection and confirmation of the presence of moths can be done with the help of adhesive traps.

Also, clothes moths should not be confused with food moths, which infest stored food and are usually found in kitchens or pantries.

Types of treatments

For effective control of clothes moths, before applying treatments, certain measures are required, such as cleaning clothes, brushing and vacuuming textiles, upholstery, rigorous cleaning of infested areas (attics, basements, storage spaces), and disposal of heavily infested materials.

Adhesive traps

Adhesive traps come with a pheromone attractant, which mimics the sex pheromones of female insects, thus attracting males for easy capture. Through this, the natural reproduction cycle of clothes moths is disrupted, and the population is gradually diminished until complete elimination. The traps are placed inside cabinets, on shelves, near moth-attracting materials. In large areas, it is recommended to place pheromone traps in a network model, in order to more easily identify the infested materials and the areas where the pest population is larger. They are most recommended in spaces where rare, valuable pieces are kept, such as museums, exhibitions, antique fairs. Because old objects can degrade after the application of chemical treatments, in these cases, it is preferable to prevent infestations by placing pheromone traps.

ADHESIVE TRAPS FOR MOTH MONITORING AND CONTROL:

This type of trap contains an attractant that mimics the pheromones secreted by female moths. Thus, it has the role of seducing males and capturing them, controlling the activity of clothes moths on a certain surface. They can be used both to monitor clothes moths and to control their numbers.

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Insecticide treatments applied by spraying

Insecticide treatments can be performed against clothes moths. The treatments can be applied using manual or motorized sprayers, depending on the size of the treated space. Insecticides used to control clothes moths usually contain pyrethrins or permethrin, which provide a quick knock-down effect. The treatments are applied inside cabinets, in textile storage areas, along baseboards, along edges of the carpets. They can also be sprayed under furniture and other areas where moths appear. Depending on the specifications of the product, the solution can be sprayed even on fabrics, if this aspect is mentioned on the label.

RECOMMENDED INSECTICIDES FOR THE CONTROL OF CLOTHES MOTHS:

They are biocidal substances used to treat moths, most of which act on the insect’s nervous system. Most are contact insecticides, concentrated, which dissolve in water when used according to the recommended doses. The solution is applied by spraying, with manual or motorized equipment, depending on the size of the treated space.

RECOMMENDED SPRAYERS FOR THE APPLICATION OF INSECTICIDES:

Sprayers are low-pressure applicator devices that are used for the application of pesticides using precise dosages. Their capacity varies depending on the type of device, the design, the application method (manual / motorized sprayers), and the size of the treated space. Special attention must be paid to the device settings, as well as to its maintenance.

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    • 20 litres
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    • 5 litres
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    €499.13

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • B&G Equipment

      Tank Capacity:

    • 2 litres
  • eu birchmeier sprayer fogger iris 15 new generation - 0, small

    Iris 15 New generation

    €382.59

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Backpack

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • 15 litres
  • eu mesto sprayer fogger 3130le - 1, small

    3130LE

    €24.53

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Mesto

      Tank Capacity:

    • 1.5 litres
  • eu mesto sprayer fogger 3591pc - 0, small

    3591PC

    Regular Price: €276.47

    €248.83

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Mesto

      Tank Capacity:

    • 5 litres
  • eu mesto sprayer fogger 3593pc - 0, small

    3593PC

    Regular Price: €295.04

    €250.78

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Mesto

      Tank Capacity:

    • 4 litres
  • eu mesto sprayer fogger 3598bm - 0, small

    3598BM

    Regular Price: €436.11

    €348.88

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Mesto

      Tank Capacity:

    • 7.5 litres
  • eu mesto sprayer fogger 3598p - 0, small

    3598P

    Regular Price: €303.37

    €273.03

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Mesto

      Tank Capacity:

    • 6 litres
  • eu mesto sprayer fogger 3618bm - 1, small

    3618BM

    Regular Price: €463.45

    €370.76

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Mesto

      Tank Capacity:

    • 10 litres
  • eu mesto sprayer fogger 3618p - 0, small

    3618P

    Regular Price: €344.89

    €275.91

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Mesto

      Tank Capacity:

    • 10 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger 301 b cleaner - 0, small

    301 B Cleaner

    Regular Price: €19.52

    €15.61

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 1.25 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger 302 b cleaner - 0, small

    302 B Cleaner

    Regular Price: €22.97

    €18.37

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 2 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger 307 a cleaner - 0, small

    307 A Cleaner

    Regular Price: €85.89

    €60.13

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 7 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger 307 b cleaner - 0, small

    307 B Cleaner

    Regular Price: €85.89

    €60.13

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 7 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger 315 a cleaner - 0, small

    315 A Cleaner

    Regular Price: €184.4

    €147.52

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Backpack

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 15 litres
  • eu birchmeier sprayer fogger rec 15 pc4 - 1, small

    REC 15 PC4

    €1,045.88

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers,
    • Sprayers Backpack

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • 15 litres
  • eu volpi sprayer v black smart - 1, small

    V.Black Smart

    €68.22

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers

      Manufacturer:

    • Volpi

      Tank Capacity:

    • 5 litres
  • eu volpi sprayer v black kompress - 1, small

    V.Black Kompress

    €27.99

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers

      Manufacturer:

    • Volpi

      Tank Capacity:

    • 6 litres
  • eu volpi sprayer green fox - 1, small

    Green Fox

    €24.18

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers

      Manufacturer:

    • Volpi

      Tank Capacity:

    • 6 litres
  • eu birchmeier sprayer rec 15 ac1 - 1, small

    REC 15 AC1

    €959.93

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers,
    • Sprayers Backpack

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • 15 litres
  • eu birchmeier sprayer a 50 ac1 - 1, small

    Dispatch in 14 days

    A 50 AC1

    €2,603.33

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • over 30 litres
  • eu birchmeier sprayer rea 15 ac1 - 1, small

    REA 15 AC1

    Regular Price: €469.73

    €399.27

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • 11 litres
  • eu birchmeier sprayer spray matic 1 25 p 360 - 1, small

    Spray-Matic 1.25 P - 360

    €46.21

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • 1.25 litres
  • eu bg equipment sprayer fogger pestpro iv deluxe 4 way tip - 1, small

    Dispatch in 59 days

    PestPro IV Deluxe 4 Way Tip

    €301.8

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers,
    • Sprayers Backpack

      Manufacturer:

    • B&G Equipment

      Tank Capacity:

    • 15 litres
  • eu frowein 808 fogger turbo sprayer - 1, small

    Dispatch in 7 days

    Turbo Sprayer

    €2,683

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers

      Manufacturer:

    • Frowein 808
  • eu birchmeier sprayer accu star 8 - 0, small

    Accu Star 8

    €169.41

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • 8 litres
  • eu birchmeier sprayer astro 5 - 0, small

    Dispatch in 14 days

    Astro 5

    €104.33

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • 5 litres
  • eu birchmeier sprayer disinfecta - 0, small

    Desinfecta+

    Regular Price: €10.44

    €7.31

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • 0.5 litres
  • eu volpi sprayer volpitech 7 proton - 2, small

    Volpitech 7 Proton

    Regular Price: €123.52

    €92.64

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Volpi

      Tank Capacity:

    • 7 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger 442 electric - 1, small

    442 Electric

    Regular Price: €378.42

    €340.58

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Backpack

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 16 litres
  • eu volpi sprayer fogger v black e pro 16 - 0, small

    V-Black E-PRO 16

    €167.18

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Backpack

      Manufacturer:

    • Volpi

      Tank Capacity:

    • 16 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger solo 456 manual sprayer integrated base - 0, small

    SOLO 456 manual sprayer, with integrated base

    Regular Price: €49.74

    €39.79

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 5 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger solo 457 manual sprayer integrated base - 0, small

    SOLO 457 manual sprayer, with integrated base

    Regular Price: €55.25

    €44.2

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 7 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger manual 201 - 0, small

    Manual Sprayer Solo 201

    Regular Price: €15.35

    €13.05

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 1.25 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger manual 202 - 0, small

    Manual Sprayer Solo 202

    Regular Price: €16.37

    €13.92

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 2 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger manual 201 c - 0, small

    Manual Sprayer Solo 201 C

    Regular Price: €16.56

    €14.08

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 1.25 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger manual 202 c - 0, small

    Manual Sprayer Solo 202 C

    Regular Price: €20.49

    €17.42

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 2 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger manual 202 cl - 0, small

    Manual Sprayer Solo 202 CL

    Regular Price: €22.55

    €19.17

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 2 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger manual 211 - 0, small

    Manual Sprayer Solo 211

    €30.81

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 5 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger manual 257 - 0, small

    Manual Sprayer Solo 257

    €55.22

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 7 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger electric 206 eazy - 1, small

    Dispatch in 14 days

    Electric Sprayer Solo 206 EAZY

    €89.9

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 6 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger manual 212 - 0, small

    Manual Sprayer Solo 212

    €33.9

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 7 litres
  • eu volpi sprayer fogger manual volpitech 621 - 0, small

    Manual Sprayer VolpiTech 621

    Regular Price: €45.4

    €36.32

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Volpi

      Tank Capacity:

    • 6 litres
  • eu birchmeier sprayer fogger profi star 3 - 0, small

    Manual Sprayer Birchmeier Profi Star 3

    €258.21

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • 5.5 litres

Aerosol insecticides

Immediately after applying insecticide spray, an aerosol-type insecticide can be used. The released particles will irritate adult moths and make them come out of hiding. Thus they will come into contact with the initially applied solution. Before using the insecticide, it is recommended to close any doors and windows. The furniture must be arranged so that the substances can infiltrate all the cracks. Depending on the product used, it must be left to act for a few hours, during which time the area must remain closed, according to the specifications on the label.

AEROSOL INSECTICIDES RECOMMENDED FOR COMBATING CLOTHES MOTHS:

Aerosol-type insecticides act by releasing the active substance in a gaseous form, thus covering the entire space to be treated and ensuring the penetration of active substance particulates into hard-to-reach spaces. They are pre-dosed and ready to use. The released particles will irritate the insects, causing them to come into contact with the previously applied insecticide, therefore, in case of pests difficult to control, aerosol insecticides are used together with spray insecticides. For optimal results, the treated room must remain closed for at least 2 hours.

Ready-to-use insecticide treatments

They can be found in the form of powder, granules, liquid, and spray. Ready-to-use insecticides are applied to dry surfaces. Because they act through contact or ingestion, it is necessary for pests to cross therefore touch the treated space. It is advisable to carefully read and follow the recommendations on the label of the product.

In hard-to-reach spaces inside or under furniture, it is recommended to use powder insecticides. They are especially useful when applied to cracks and fissures where moth eggs can be hidden.

READY TO USE INSECTICIDES FOR THE CONTROL OF CLOTHES MOTHS:

Ready-to-use insecticides are pre-dosed solutions and can come in different forms (spray, powder, granules, etc.). The application is made according to the space to be treated, taking into account the information found on the product label. For optimal results, they are usually applied as close as possible to the source of infestation.

Special devices can be used for the easier application of powdered products.

RECOMMENDED SPRAYERS FOR THE APPLICATION OF POWDER INSECTICIDES:

Dispersers are devices specifically designed for the application of granular products or powders. They are used to treat hard-to-reach spaces, for example: inside walls (cracks), behind panels, spaces around electrical outlets, and other very narrow spaces.

  • eu bg sprayer fogger 1150 bulb dust r - 0, small

    1150 Bulb Dust-R

    €30.32

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Duster

      Manufacturer:

    • B&G Equipment
  • eu frowein 808 sprayer fogger duster s - 1, small

    Duster S

    €13.61

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Duster

      Manufacturer:

    • Frowein 808

      Tank Capacity:

    • 0.5 litres
  • eu frowein 808 sprayer fogger duster - 2, small

    Duster

    €21.31

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Duster

      Manufacturer:

    • Frowein 808

      Tank Capacity:

    • 1 litre
  • eu frowein 808 sprayer fogger duster mini - 1, small

    Duster Mini

    €7.9

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Duster

      Manufacturer:

    • Frowein 808

      Tank Capacity:

    • 250 ml

Protective equipment

To avoid inhalation of vapors created during spraying or direct contact with applied substances, it is recommended to wear appropriate equipment. Protective equipment has the role of keeping the person performing the insecticidal treatments safe.

RECOMMENDED PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT:

Protective equipment has the role of protecting the person performing the treatments from dangerous substances. This category includes protective gloves, coveralls, masks, etc. The equipment is chosen depending on the type of treatment, as well as the substances used or the targeted pest.

Strip Insecticides

They are strips that release an insecticidal substance, which eliminates moths within their range. They are placed in uninhabited storage spaces, protected from access by people or animals. Not recommended for small spaces (cabinets, drawers). Once hung, the tapes can provide protection against pests for a long time (3-4 months).

Clothes moths repellents

Moth repellents should be placed inside inhabited premises, cabinets, drawers, and in other spaces with textile materials. They come in the form of cardboard discs, impregnated with oils with a strong smell (lavender), which discourages the activity of moths in that area. They have a repellent effect against both adult forms and larvae.

Clothes moths are insects that appear in areas protected from light and are more difficult to detect. Infestations can sometimes be detected only when material damage is found. Therefore, their control involves, first of all, taking rigorous hygiene measures (brushing, vacuuming, and cleaning of materials), followed by the application of recommended treatments, depending on the infested space. If the degree of infestation is high, or the infestation area is sensitive (museums, exhibitions, fairs, etc.), it is advisable to call on specialized personnel to perform appropriate treatments in safe conditions.

To make sure an infestation does not occur, apply the methods mentioned in our article about ways in which you can ‘Prevent infestation with Clothes Moths’. Keep in mind that prevention is always the key when it comes to the best repellent against a pest.

Got a question?

  1. I find small moth like creatures hiding in the pages of my writing pad, which fly off when I pick it up ?

    Terry King -
    Answer
    1. Can you tell us if you saw this pest only on the writing pad or you saw it elsewhere?

      Nexles -
      Answer
  2. It looks like we have cloths moths in a wool rug in our living area; it is a 7 x9 foot rug. What can we do to kill the moths. We have had it professionally cleaned, but the moths still are there. We just see them from time to time when house cleaning and when we vac the rug.

    David Ristine -
    Answer
    1. You can use an insecticide like K-Othrine WG 250. You should make two treatments using half of the contents of a K-Othrine sachet. The second treatment has to be made in 7-10 days after the first one. After the treatment, you can use traps like The Demothivator or Maxlure to monitor the level of infestation.

      Nexles -
      Answer
  3. Find tiny white eggs and small little pieces of tissue in rug but not any worms like pics
    Dark waxy looking things and white but not heads

    Connie -
    Answer
    1. Concentrated insecticides are the most commonly used products in fighting Clothes Moths. They provide the safety that any insect coming into contact with the treated surfaces dies shortly. You can use AquaPy EW30 or K-Othrine SC 25.
      To avoid bringing any other moths in your home and to prevent them from further multiplying, clean your clothes and store them properly. By washing your clothes, you avoid having moths’ larvae develop and adult ones lay more eggs.

      Nexles -
      Answer
  4. my upstairs tenant has an infestation of clothes moth
    we both have cats and I am a senior respiratory problems
    I do not want to use insecticides or pesticides
    how do we get rid of the moths in a way that is safe to our health and
    that of our pets

    Judith Bercusson -
    Answer
    1. You can use pheromone traps which are natural repellents. These are traps that attract and kill the moths with a sticky substance they cannot escape once they touch.

      Nexles -
      Answer
  5. I have left my room alone for a few weeks the old carpet in our house is made out of wool when I got back I found my bedroom had been completely infested I have tried vacuuming it out but it still has not worked what should I do

    Dan -
    Answer
    1. Wash the carpet at a higher temperature, specific to wool materials. In order to get rid of the remaining moths you can set up traps, the moths will be drawn to the traps and then get stuck on the adhesive.

      Nexles -
      Answer
  6. Do moths come around because the room is damp and chilly. Please tell me what are the dangers of having a cold damp home

    Mary -
    Answer
    1. As they usually prefer dark and humid places, make sure to air out the house as much as possible, and also the closet, to ensure you disturb their environment. More information about prevention and sanitation methods against clothes moths you can find in the article: Prevent infestation with Clothes Moths.

      Nexles -
      Answer
  7. We appear to have Tinea Bisselliella moth on our carpet. Which insecticide would you recommend bearing in mind we have 3 Cats that use this room for most of the day.

    Ivor Powell -
    Answer
    1. Hello. You can use pheromone traps in the room where you have moths: WCM Black Stripe Delta Kit or traps such as Maxlure Clothes Moth. Moths are attracted to these traps by the pheromones and stick to them.

      Nexles -
      Answer

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