Saturday, July 20, 2024
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How to stop moths from eating your favourite clothes

THE STAR – Getting rid of moths in your clothing is never easy.

A moth infestation is tough to handle especially as consumer advisors say don’t use poison while noting that other products don’t work well enough.

It may be tough, but you should throw away any of your clothes that have moths, according to German consumer magazine Okotest.

Meanwhile wash and pack away any items that don’t have moths. Put them in the freezer and vacuum your wardrobe and chest of drawers.

Pay close attention to any cracks – you can clean them with hot air from a hair-dryer, advises Germany’s Environmental Agency. Wipe out surfaces with vinegar water.

And for the future, use a combination of prevention and control products that don’t hurt people or animals.

Product testers from Okotest advise against using poisons which contain substances that can endanger your health and that of your pets.

Moth control substances that consist of papers or gel sachets release poisons that leave traces on surfaces. The substance that kills the moths can also attack your nervous system or that of your pets, running the risk of headaches, low moods and irritated eyes.

So when examining 33 products to treat clothing moths, Okotest rated them all poor or insufficient, even if they managed to control the moths and larvae.

However, sticky traps got a better rating from the product testers, not presenting a danger to people or pets.

The trouble is you won’t catch all the moths as the traps come with a substance that only attracts male insects.

That leaves female moths and their larvae still cosy in your favourite jumper.

Female moths can lay up to 250 eggs, said German pest control experts, so sticky traps are likely to only be one part of your possible solution. What you also need are repellents, in the form of textile sprays, sachets or other dispensers that emit fragrances like lavender and margosa oil which comes from the neem tree.

You can also try your own remedies like home-made lavender bags or laying out cedar wood. They won’t drive the insects away completely or protect your clothing from moths.

“But they do help to make life difficult for the moths, and without using any poison at all,” said Okotest.

Meanwhile only put clothes away that you have washed and dried first, as moths are drawn to sweat and skin flakes.

Brush off and beat any clothes you only wear rarely, and ensure they are well aired. You can also get them cleaned then seal them up and pack them away, safe from moths.