You know that beautiful cashmere jumper you put back in the wardrobe after Christmas?
You’ve been looking forward to wearing it to a family lunch. You take it out of the wardrobe and pull it on to admire yourself in the mirror. Imagine your horror when you find the moths have been making short work of your precious jumper.
So what can you do about it? Sadly not a lot about the cashmere jumper but the good news is that you can eliminate a moth infestation from your wardrobe and home with a few simple steps that I’ll take you through in today’s blog.
Rapid Rise Of Moth Infestations
Last summer there were several reports that suggested that moth infestations were on the rise. The weather was blamed but in fact the Butterfly Conservation charity suggests that moth infestations have been on the rise over the last 20-30 years.
Rentokil and English Heritage both report an huge increase in moth infestations too.
They are more likely to occur in houses built before 1950s. These properties have more access to the outside (fireplaces, attics larders etc).
Alarming Rise Of Moth Infestations – Why?
There are a couple of reasons cited why there are more clothing moth infestations:
- Centrally Heated Houses – our homes are always warm, providing an attractive breeding environment for moths.
- Natural Fibres – ironically our move towards more natural fibres and away from nylon and polyester in clothing is more attractive to moths.
- Laundering At Lower Temperatures – moth larvae is killed off at 55oC – how often do you wash your clothes at this temperature?
How Do You Deal With A Moth Epidemic?
The simple answer is that you need to eliminate the infestation and then take steps to prevent the moths coming back. This is how:
Deep Clean Your Wardrobe
You need to deep clean your wardrobe and the only way to do this is remove everything.
Once you’ve removed everything you need to vacuum your your wardrobe – remember to do all the corners and drawers.
Wipe down the inside of your wardrobe with vinegar and water solution or soap and water.
Wash or dry-clean all of your clothes. Alternatively if you have the space you can put your clothes in plastic bags and freeze them for 48-hours. You need to do this to kill off all the larvae.
Spring Clean Your Bedroom
Hoover and clean carpets and floors thoroughly. Although moth infestations breed in your wardrobe larvae can get into carpets and surrounding areas.
Use Garment Bags For Out Of Season Clothes
When you no longer need your jumpers and warmer clothes store these in garment bags with cedar wood sticks. Use cotton garment bags to avoid the risk of mould and discolouration. Cotton garment bags allow your clothes to breathe.
Keep Moths At Bay The Natural Way
Moths hate thyme, lavender, cloves, mint and bay leaves.
Why not make your own natural repellent? The added bonus is that it will also smell lovely in your wardrobe.
Place dried rosemary, thyme, cloves, lavender or bay leaves into a small cloth bag and hang them in your wardrobe and place them in your drawers.
You can also use an essential oil diffuser with a blend of these oils in your room.
Another Great Trick to avoid a moth infestation
Use cedar wood products in your drawers and wardrobes. Clothes hangers, wooden balls for your drawers or discs to hang on clothes hangers are all great ways to prevent moths returning.
If you’re unlucky enough to have suffered a moth infestation then hopefully this blog will help you to get rid of the moths and stop them returning.
Vintage clothes, particularly this in the natural fibres that moths love may be a source of moth larvae. If in doubt then it’s best to launder or dry clean your vintage purchases before you add to your wardrobe collection.
While You’re Here!
One way to ensure you reduce the risk of moths is to give them less opportunity to breed and feed on your clothes. If you have less clothes in your wardrobe then the larvae has less to get its teeth into! Why not take the opportunity to declutter your wardrobe either as a prevention against moths or simply as part of your wardrobe de-infestation. Not sure where to start? Why not join my FREE Wardrobe Challenge starting on 13th March – Clutter to Wardrobe Harmony in 7-days? All you need to do is sign up here.