How to get Rid of Moths

How to Get Rid of Moths

Moths are pests that can eat your clothing, furniture, rugs, and many other household items.Follow these easy steps to get rid of moths.

Overview

Moths go through metamorphosis. The moth goes through four lifestages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.  The different species of clothes-eating moths are difficult to tell apart, but there’s no real need to identify the particular species, since the control measures will be identical.

Identify

Life cycle

how to get rid of moths

Life Cycle

Moths go through metamorphosis. The moth goes through four lifestages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The different species of clothes-eating moths are difficult to tell apart, but there’s no real need to identify the particular species, since the control measures will be identical.

Eggs

eggs

Eggs

A single female may deposit from 100 to 300 eggs in clothing and household furnishings. They are soft white to ivory-colored, oval shaped, and about 1/25 inch long. Eggs hatch in one to two weeks during the summer (or in heated rooms), while in unheated rooms hatching may take longer.

Larvae

Larvae

Depending on the species they can be small cream-colored caterpillars or shiny, creamy white in color, and no more than 1/2-inch long. The amount of time it takes for a larva to mature varies greatly, from about 40 to over 200 days. This life stage is when the most damage is done to your fabrics as the larvae will feed until they spin their pupa.

Pupa

Pupa

Moths spin silky pupae in the larval feeding area and in about 1 to 4 weeks they hatch into winged moths.

Adult

Adult

Soon after emerging from the pupae, the adult moth will mate and begin the cycle again.  Adult moths have two pairs of wings covered in pigmented scales with a span around ½ inch. Moths may vary in appearance based on species, but the common cloth moths are usually shades of grey or brown to reddish brown, some even having distinct spots on their wing.

Where Moths Live

Moths usually like warm dark areas. Behind sofas, in rugs, and in closets where fabric, fur, wool and feathers are stored are considered prime living spaces for moths.

How Moths Cause Harm

We usually see moths eating holes in clothing, blankets, or rugs, but they will also damage upholstery and other natural materials throughout the house. However, although moths eat fabric materials, they are actually seeking out substances on the fabric, such as sweat stains, dirt, or food stains/drips. Wool is especially at risk of moth damage.

How to Get Rid of Moths

Follow this step-by-step approach to getting rid of moths out of your clothes, blankets, rugs, carpets, furniture, and other fabrics.

PestTREATMENT TEMPATUREHOW LONG BEFORE THEY DIE
Ants120°F5 mins
Bed Bugs115°F7 mins
Cockroaches130°F7 mins
Dust Mites140°F8 mins
Fleas140°`F10 mins
Termites125°F10 mins
Scabies122°F10 mins
Lice130°F30 mins
Moths120°F30 mins
Carpet Beetles120°F30 mins
Step 1-Heat Treat

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Step 1: Use heat to quickly get rid of moths. Adult moths, pupas, larvae and eggs are easily destroyed with the use of a ZappBug heating unit. Place the infested (or possibily infested) items into the unit, and once the temperature probe reads 120 degrees Fahrenheit just heat treat for an hour.

  • Moths die at 120 degrees in 30 minutes, but we recommend treating for an hour to be sure all moths are dead.
  • Delicate clothing that can’t be washed can be treated in ZappBug units
  • Makes it easy to treat rugs and other house hold items
  • Our larger ZappBug Room allows you to heat treat larger furniture, such as couches and bed
Step 2- Vacuum and Clean

vacuum-cleaner

Remember to clean often. Vacuuming removes moth eggs and larvae from carpets before they have the opportunity to hatch.

Step 3 - Wash

Two baskets of dirty laundry in the washing roomTo get rid of the debris of dead moths, eggs, larvae, and pupae we recommend washing your blankets and clothes after heat treatment.

Step 4 - Diatomaceous Earth


Diatomaceous earth.This stuff is a great non-toxic, kid-and-pet friendly alternative to insecticides. Make sure to buy food or pet grade, then spread a layer of around infested areas and inside cracks and crevices. Diatomaceous earth works by drying out bugs, causing their eventual death by dehydration.

Step 5 - Moth Traps

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Use moth traps to get rid of moths. There are a wide variety of effective moth traps available, most of which work by luring the moths to a sticky surface. Just lay them in infected areas and wait.

Make your own clothes moth traps. Moth larvae can be attracted using standard rodent/insect sticky traps. You can also create your own to attract adult moths using fly paper, cotton balls, and a food source such as pan drippings or fish oil. Coat the cotton ball in the food, stick it to the fly paper and place in the infested area.

HEAT TREAT TO GET RID OF Moths

Learn more about how heat treatment works by visiting our products page and viewing our treatment video. You will see how easy it is to use our ZappBug heating units, and why heat treatment is the best way to get rid of Moths quickly and effectively.

Prevent Moth Infestations

Moth infestations are easier to prevent than to control.

  • Heat treat any old clothing or furniture purchased at yard sales.
  • Keep your furniture and clothes clean
  • Vacuum frequently to remove accumulations of lint, pet and human hair, dirt, and other organic debris
  • Since moths like dark places, it helps to move your furniture around occasionally
  • Store clothing properly. Clothes you don’t wear often, especially wool winter clothing, should be stored in an airtight place.
    • Protect wool coats and sweaters with plastic bags.
    • Store winter clothing in plastic storage bags, plastic bins, or airtight metal containers