Though moths are attracted to light, they often lay eggs in dark places such as pantries or closets. If you don’t know what signs to look out for, you may not discover you have a moth problem until it is too late.
The most common way to contract a moth infestation is by carrying infected items into the home. Food and clothing items that have larvae or eggs hiding within them can introduce a moth problem when you least expect it.
You may see moths attracted to your outdoor lights at night, but these are not the types of moths usually invade the home. Most moth infestations come from the pantry moth or clothes moths.
Unsealed containers in our pantries are perfect targets for pantry months. These insects can lay eggs where they are most likely to be fed and nurtured, such as in grains and flour.
In our closets, moths feed on natural fabrics like leather, wool, and silk. Their eggs can hatch and survive on these items, using the fibers for food and protection.
When to expect moth eggs
Clothes moths and pantry moths each leave being telltale signs of their habitation. Here are the signs you need to watch for.
- Silky furrows, tunnels, or trenches found on wool clothing and fabrics.
- Irregular holes in clothing.
- Furs that shed excessively.
- Tiny tubes stuck to fabric, which are larvae casings.
- Crusty deposits on rugs, drapes, and clothing.
- Small cream-colored moths appearing in flight or crawling on surfaces.
- Small holes in plastic food bags.
- Eggs or larvae inside food packages.
- Web-like material inside pantry corners.
- Small, drab-colored moths crawling or flying.
Even if you’ve only seen a small pantry moth or two, chances are these moths have laid eggs in your dry goods or have hatched from within them.
Tips to Help get Rid of Moth Larvae
Follow these tips to help reduce moth larvae in your home.
- Change vacuum bags often – to make sure you remove larvae & eggs from your property, emptying your vacuum outside & carefully double bag the content before placing in outside bin.
- Wash all fabrics – soft furnishings, linens, rugs, blankets, curtains & towels in the affected area – moth larvae find these as tasty as clothes.
- Keep clothes clean – female moths like to lay eggs on fabrics stained with sweat or urine as the larvae gain more nutrients from these. Always clean clothes before putting them back in your wardrobe.
- Clean and wash down affected furniture – wardrobes, cupboards and drawers, especially cracks & crevices where moth eggs can be hidden out of sight.
- Clean suitcases – bags, storage boxes & containers as these might be hiding more eggs or larvae.