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Fabric Beetle

Fabric Beetle

As you start digging through the back of your closet for warmer clothing this fall season, keep an eye out for household pests that may be destroying your clothes. Even though these pests are not usually disease or germ carriers, their presence can be a nuisance and difficult to eliminate. It is important to ensure your clothes and other fabrics are protected as these pests can cause considerable damage before you even know they are present.

Generally, it’s the newly hatched larvae that do the damage on everything from sweaters, pants, jackets, wool rugs, to decorative needlework on your walls. Typically insect damage occurs on fabrics containing natural or animal fibres such as wool, mohair, silk, cotton, leather, fur, feathers, down, and any synthetics blended with these natural fibres.

Clothes Moths

Clothes moths are a light tan colour, have very narrow wings, and can grow up to 1/2 inch long. It is the larva (small white worm looking) that actually eats wool garments, not the adult moths themselves. But if you see the adult clothes moths around you can assume they are laying eggs. Clothes moths pose no serious health concern to humans; however, an infestation can quickly ruin rarely used or stored clothing such as old military uniforms, blankets, feathered hats, tuxedos, overcoats, evening gowns, hats, antique dolls and toys, and wall hangings.

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles commonly cause damage to fabrics such as wool, silk, leather, and fur; they do not feed on synthetic fibres. Just like the clothes moth, the carpet beetle larvae are the ones to do the damage to your clothing. Carpet beetle larvae measure 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and appear to be densely covered with tiny hairs or bristles. The garment damage appears in one portion of a garment, or concentrated area. They easily find food in obscure places and can be easily dispersed throughout the home considering their unique ability to travel. Carpet beetles can be difficult to control and can cause extensive damage if left unchecked.

Tips for keeping your clothes pest free!

  • Store only clean garments. Thoroughly clean clothes prior to storage by emptying pockets, washing to remove food stains, perfumes, and perspiration as these can be a reliable food source for a wardrobe-destroying infestation. Have garments dry cleaned (without starch) or place in the dryer on high heat for 15 minutes to eliminate any insect eggs or mildew spores.
  • Regularly clean and vacuum. Clean rugs and carpets, draperies, upholstered furniture, closets and anywhere else larvae can hide. When you are finished, immediately dispose of the vacuum bag.
  • To avoid future infestations, store clothes in containers located in a cool, dry place. Use garment storage bags made of cotton and or vinyl. Make sure to utilize breathable bags for leather or fur garments. Preventative products such as mothballs and cedar products can provide additional protection. If the insects cannot lay eggs, they will not eat your clothes.
  • Be careful about what you buy second-hand. Always launder or dry-clean woollens that are bought from thrift stores or given to you as hand-me-downs. You could have unexpected guests along with that sweater!

Don’t let these fabric-eating pests ruin your winter wardrobe. Want to leave it to the professionals? Contact Vpestifypest control expert. Schedule a free inspection today!

 

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