Many areas and objects in your house are susceptible to moth infestation. This pest has been a common problem in the kitchen, inside the closet, and other damp, dark spots in the house. Moth infestation at home does not necessarily carry a health risk. However, this infestation can cause severe damages on fabric, clothes, paper, and even food boxes. Often, moth infestation happens because homeowners were unable to discover potential adult moth before they finally lay eggs which quickly hatch. Getting rid of moths require persistence in order to eliminate all the nest, eggs, and adult moths and prevent any possible future infestation.
Inspecting moth infestation
Moths—and almost all kinds of bugs infest a house in search of foods. These bugs are attracted to almost the same foods with the ones we consume. Moreover, moths are also attracted to grains, so that finding the inside the closet is also a common thing. Moths are also invading a house and the garden because they are attracted to bird’s house as well. Before moths become a complicated problem in the house, there are several things about its infestation you probably want to know.
- Moths are extremely attracted to grains. Hence, you might find they are infesting the whole grains you are keeping inside your pantry. If you see a single moth coming out of your pantry, you should not take it for granted. Instead, begin checking your jars or even sealed bags of almonds, nuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and even cereal. Moths are also a paper and fabric eater. Hence, the napkins you store in the pantry should not be missed. Check it for moth infestation to make sure you are going to find out any moth problems from the smallest.
- Check the brackets inside the pantry. Moths are tiny and able to lay eggs anywhere in between these brackets.
- Check mouth infestation inside the non-airtight containers. You might not believe that moths can even get into this sealed containers. Items which are sticky and stuck together inside the jar can also be a sign of moths’ presence around the pantry.
- Closet moths are also a common house pest. These moths feed on any kinds of fabrics, such as silk, wool, linen, and other fabrics. Inspect your closet, especially the rarely-used ones, since it is prone to moth infestation. Try to check the hanging clothes thoroughly and be alerted when you find tiny holes on these clothes, as they might be the sign of moth invasion. Clothes made from fur, wool, silk, and feather are more prone to moth infestation.
- Moth infestation can also be inspected through the smell of your pantry and closet. The Musty smell inside the cabinets might be the sign that moths have built their nests there.
- Moths are attracted to humid places so that you must be alerted about their infestation inside the wardrobe, drawers, cabinets, and any storages you do not often open.
- Look for moth presence under your bed. This rarely cleaned and accessed spot of the room can be a cozy place for adult moths to dwell in. moths might also hide in furniture folds which are not vacuumed for a long time.
Preventing moth infestation
Seeing moth larvae inside your jars of grains can be one of the most disgusting things. However, this can be a common thing to find out in the pantry. You might have several jars you don’t open often. These are where moth may lay the eggs in and where those eggs develop into bigger maggots. In order to prevent moth from invading any of your rarely used spaces, there are some things to be considered.
- Moths are attracted to dark, damp, and humid places. Hence, keep all your cabinets and closet clean and dry to avoid moth infestation.
- Moths are attracted to fabrics and many kinds of clothes, especially ones made from wool. However, dirty clothes or clothes with food stain or drink spills are the most attractive objects for moths. Hence, avoid storing dirty clothes without first washing them.
- You may bring moths with you from any places outside the house. Hence, after wearing furry clothes, and other heavy-grained fabrics, such as wool, brush it first before hang it back. This way, you may get rid of any moth eggs which may dwell in your wore clothes.
- Avoid keeping your clothes in a cardboard, since it can easily become damp and humid. This is the environment moths like. Instead, keep your pre-washed clothes and fabrics inside the airtight containers or sealed suitcases. This will minimize the possibility of unnoticed moth infestation.
- Seasonal or event clothes, especially tuxedo and suits must be properly stored. Put the plastic cover in back after you wore the suits. Dry clean these seasonal suit before keeping it in the closet.
- Keep your closet well-ventilated. Avoid storing too many clothes which will take up all the closet spaces, since this may trigger moths to lay eggs anywhere unseen between the piles of clothes. Put some naphthalene balls in each closet racks to deter not only moths but also other insects such as termites and cockroaches.
- Take one period to take all your clothes out of the closet and air them in open space. Meanwhile, wipe all closet spaces with hot water and soap and dry it completely before putting the clothes back.
- If you decide to wear long-stored clothes, make sure you iron them well to get rid of any possible moth eggs. This prevents the larvae from moving into another space of the house, including the pantry and kitchen cabinets.
- Store all items, especially the once-opened ones inside airtight containers. Avoid keeping foods and dry goods for a long time, since they will be prone to moths. Also, be noticed that moths can eat through cardboard boxes even if it is not opened yet.
- Any foods you buy in grocery stores may have the risk of being infested by moths before. Hence, you can put these foods in the freezer before using it. This is to kill possible moth eggs inside the goods.
- Pantry and kitchen are commonly the humid part of a house. Hence, you will need to check the temperature around the place. Make sure than kitchen windows are often opened so that fresh air is able to circulate. Occasionally, let you pantry door open to get a better air circulation. Avoid storing goods near the sink as this may attract moths.
- Moths may reside even in small spaces, such as cracks and crevices. Therefore, you should seal off any cracks in the wall, especially the part of the wall which is covered by cabinets, refrigerator, and other big objects.
How to get rid of moths
Most of the time, no matter how hard you are keeping the areas in the house clean, you still spot the unexpected guests. When you spot a single moth, this should consecutively become a sign that it may infest some parts of the house. Since moths may cause damages inside the house—especially behind the closed pantry and closet doors, it is important to find a way of getting rid of them effectively.
Getting rid of pantry and closet moths
Moth infestation inside the pantries is a common problem, as a matter of fact. Many people are panicking to notice that their stored foods are invaded by either winged adult moths or smaller larvae, which may look like maggots. Most people think that hygiene is a primary risk factor of moth infestation. This might be true, although it is not the only one. There are many other risk factors which invite moths to come to your house. If you have performed preventive acts, yet there is still moth infestation inside your house, you might start performing moths extermination. Similar to other insects, moths can be treated with various methods. You can either use traditional traps, ready-to-use products, and folk remedies to get rid of both pantry and closet moths. All of these DIY methods can be performed by homeowners without involving professional assistance. DIY moth treatments are lower in cost and are more flexible. However, big infestation might require professional exterminator, which will not only help to eliminate existing infestation but also to prevent any future possible infestation.
Getting rid of pantry moths
Pantry moths are destructive and may not only eat foods kept inside the pantry but also spread bacteria which might lead to harmful diseases. To get rid of pantry moths, several things need to be performed.
- Take everything out of the pantry. Empty the suspected pantry to clean it thoroughly.
- Check all the stored foods, including the ones in jars and unopened ones. Moths are able to infest these two kinds of stored foods. Unopened cardboard-boxed goods are the most susceptible, as well as the foods stored in non-airtight jars.
- If you find infested foods, immediately toss them into the trash can. Do not keep any infested items. Not only it is dangerous for your health, it also gives the possibility of future infestation, since the larvae dwelling inside the food containers will grow into adult moths and repeat its life cycle.
- If you do not suspect any infestation in some of the stored foods, but still concern about the possibility, you can store the foods in the freezer. Freezing the foods will likely to kill the moth eggs if there are some inside the foods.
- Wipe clean all the pantry shelves and brackets. Scrubbing them with warm water and dish soap can be helpful in killing all possible moth larvae since dish soap contains borax, which is effective for killing small insects.
- After wiping clean the party parts, make sure you wipe them dry. Leave the pantry opened, since wet shelves and closed pantry door is a perfect combination for moth breeding environment.
- Sprinkling baking soda to the pantry shelves and wipe it off after several minutes is also a good method for removing moths and its eggs.
- Vacuum all pantry corners. This will remove moth webbing, eggs, larvae, and adult moths.
- Wash all containers used inside the pantry with hot water to kill any left moth colonies.
Getting rid of closet moths
Moths invading the closets are consuming fabric, linen, and clothes. They also leave yellowish stains which are hard to remove. Keeping the closet ventilated is the most effective preventive method for closet moth infestation. However, some ways can be done in killing these closet moths existing in your cupboard.
- Spray either ant or fly killer to the empty closet and let it sit for minutes by closing the closet doors.
- Vacuum each corner of the closet and drawer regularly. This will help to kill the adult moths as well as the caterpillars.
- Sprinkle powdered borax onto the empty closet shelves. Borax contains boric acid which dries up the moths, especially its worms. Sprinkle sufficient amount of borax onto the shelves, targeting each dark corner. Let it sit for a half an hour and vacuum any excess. Afterward, wipe the shelves and corners using hot water and dish soap before putting in all your clothes.
- Setting out pheromone moth traps. This trap is a sheet of paper with a sticky adhesive containing pheromone. Pheromone will attract the moths to fly onto the sticky adhesive, which makes them unable to fly back. This will eventually kill the flying moths. Some caterpillars which are the sticky paper will also be attracted to the paper trap and will get stuck on it if they crawl onto the adhesive.
- Moths which stay in your closet are targeting the clothes and fabrics as their sources of foods, and moth caterpillar or worms are more responsible for causing holes to your clothes rather than the adults. To get rid of moth worms infesting your clothes, wash the clothes in hot water. Set the washing machine to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and wash the infested clothes for 45 minutes. Afterward, dry the clothes under direct sun. This should kill all moth worms left in the clothes.
Besides heat, moth worms cannot resist extreme low temperature as well. Therefore, if you suspect an infestation of moth worms in the closet or clothes, put these infested fabrics into a wrapping plastic. Vacuum the air inside the plastic bag using a vacuum cleaner and let the wrapped clothes sit in the freezer for one whole day. Freezing infested clothes will kill the worms. Wash them as usual after taken out of the freezer.