How to get rid of moths: Why they come into your home, how to stop them naturally and do they bite?
Moths are one of the UK’s biggest bogeys in the spring and summer months and how to get rid of them is always a hot topic.
There are even many who suffer from lepidopterophobia, a debilitating fear of butterflies and moths, and while the exact prevalence of the fear is unknown, similar phobias affect between 5 and 10% of people.
Lincolnshire is even known to attract giant versions of the pests.
But whether you’re scared of them or just find them annoying, we could all do without them in our homes – keep flying in our lights, making holes in our clothes (more on that later) or scare us to death when they are Go to your phone’s screen in the dark.
More and more of us will notice the winged creatures as the nights get longer and warmer.
But why now and why my house? Do I have to fear them?
And how on earth can I get rid of them and keep them from coming back?
We will try to answer all of these questions for you below …
‘Why do moths come into my house?’
Although we all know moths are attracted to light, the insects will often have found a place in and around your building to nest months before you notice them.
However, they stay hidden in winter and most of autumn until spring temperatures rise again.
At this point they are encouraged to emerge and reproduce.
Also, since it can only take four days for the eggs to hatch, it is likely responsible for increased numbers in and around the house and increases the likelihood of an infestation.
Moths also feed on a protein called keratin, which is most commonly found in wool and silk, but also in dust.
If your house is particularly prone to dust, our winged friends might have this much fun.
However, if the lights remain on and the windows open, then moths are almost certainly involved.
Never forget the basics!
‘Do moths bite?’
A common misconception with moths is that they destroy all of your favorite clothes by chewing holes in them.
In fact, most species of moth either have no mouths or have extremely simple mouths that do not allow them to bite or chew.
This is because adult moths found in UK households do not need food or drink to stay alive and survive primarily on the proteins listed above.
When it comes to larvae, most of the biting occurs and it is usually the larvae that mess up your favorite outfits.
Moths are also known to cause allergic reactions in many people, and the itching that often results is often mistaken for bites.
Scales on their wings often fall off and get mixed up with general household dust, causing them to float in the air.
Symptoms of the allergy can include swelling, small red bumps, and even a rash.
“How can I prevent moths from coming into my house”
Moths most commonly enter homes through open windows and doors.
They are more active in summer and with more doors and windows open at night, they are more likely to be attracted to our lights.
House lights mistake a moth’s internal GPS and constantly fly into buildings mistaking it for the moon!
So leaving the lights off when you can is one way to prevent entry.
We mentioned above that moths often feed on proteins found in dust. So if you keep your house clean, you can keep them outside too.
Since they also like to live in wool and other fabrics, keeping your clothes clean is also a must.
If you buy clothes from resale stores and keep them in your closets and drawers without washing them first, the larvae can thrive.
They also love damp and humid areas, so it is advisable to dry clean clothing and mop up any spills around the house as soon as possible.
How to get rid of moths in the house
But what if the moths have already broken through your various defenses and made their way onto your lawn?
Horror of horror! But don’t panic.
Moths have long been a nuisance to humans and so many repellants have been found.
One way is to fill a spray bottle with cedar oil and spray it around your home.
This will drive away all moths and apparently keep others away as well.
Another option is to wash with vinegar any surfaces where you can find larvae.
If you are not concerned about harming them, other options such as glue traps are available.
These use moth pheromones to lure them onto the ribbon. Once stuck, they can no longer escape.
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If they pose a particular threat in your closets, there are a few specific methods available.
Moths hate the smell of herbs like lavender, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, and thyme.
You can put these in a bag and hang them in your closet with your clothes, or you can dilute their essential oils and spray them on your clothes.
As mentioned earlier, washing and drying clothes at high temperatures will kill the larvae, but freezing will also kill them.
If you run out of options, putting clothes in the freezer for 24 hours will apparently kill any eggs that are present.
And of course, keep your home as clean as possible – getting rid of the dust will affect conditions for moths to thrive.