1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

August 17, 2008

:230 Clothes Moths

Filed under: :230 Clothes Moths — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:57 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:230 EcoTip: Clothes moths don’t damage wool materials – its the larva that chew the holes. Clothes Moth Alert traps will capture the adults and help provide you with an early warning that the larva are somewhere. UC Davis IPM says that blocks of cedar wood are only partially effective.

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 Additional Information:

Clothes moth traps are available from ARBICO-organics.

According to UCDavis IPM program:

Preventing or Reducing Infestations

Periodically clean areas of a home that may harbor clothes moths to prevent or control infestation. Those areas include many seldom-cleaned spots, such as:

  • under heavy pieces of furniture;
  • along baseboards and in cracks where hair and debris accumulate;
  • closets, especially those in which woolens and furs are kept; and
  • heaters, the areas behind them, and vents.

The vacuum cleaner is the best tool for most of this cleaning. After using it in infested areas, dispose of the bag contents promptly; they may include eggs, larvae, or adult moths.

Clothes moths may first become established on woolen garments or scraps stored for long periods. If such articles are to be saved, they should be stored properly, or periodically hung in the sun and brushed thoroughly, especially along seams and in folds and pockets. Brushing destroys eggs and exposes larvae. Larvae are strongly repelled by light, and will fall from clothing when they cannot find protection.

Dry Cleaning and Laundering

Dry cleaning or thoroughly laundering items in hot water (temperature above 120°F for 20 to 30 minutes) kills all stages of insects. This is the most common and effective method for controlling clothes moths in clothing, blankets, and other washable articles. (Because many woolen garments should not be washed in hot water, dry cleaning may be the only suitable cleaning option.) Keeping fabrics clean also has another advantage: insects are less likely to feed on clean fabrics than on heavily soiled ones.

Protecting Items in Storage

Clothes moths often damage articles that are not stored properly. When storing susceptible items, be sure they are pest-free and clean, and place them in an airtight container. Insect repellents can be placed in the storage container. A new product made from lavender oil is available as a gel-filled sachet that can be used inside drawers and storage boxes, or hung in closets. Research studies are currently underway regarding the efficacy of this product.

Questions are often raised as to the effectiveness of cedar chests and closet floors made of cedar. Aromatic eastern red cedar, Juniperus virginiana, contains an oil that is able to kill small larvae, but it does not affect large larvae. After several years, however, cedar loses this quality. Having the chest tightly constructed is more important in the long run than the type of wood used to make it.

You can read the entire document at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7435.html

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