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pest on clothes

In the upper Midwest, the weather is turning colder and winter is definitely nipping at our heels, if not already here in some places! It’s finally time to put away the short sleeve shirts, tank tops and shorts that the summer let us enjoy and pull out the old winter sweaters, coats, hats and mittens.

Clothes In Storage

When you visit the attic, or the basement, or wherever you store your winter clothes, don’t be surprised if you find new holes in your cotton and wool belongings. These holes were probably caused by the hungry larvae of casemaking clothes moths, webbing clothes moths, carpet beetles and silverfish. Now, you’re probably wondering how these little buggers got into your clothes in the first place. It’s quite simple, really: the eggs and the larvae (baby bugs) of moths and beetles were probably carried into your home on clothing or material that contains wool or other animal fibers. These items can include upholstered furniture, fabrics and rugs. It’s also possible that adult moths and beetles made their way into your home and laid eggs in a quiet or dark drawer, attic or basement and you didn’t even realize it. Items that are stored for long periods of time (your winter clothes, for example) are at risk for being chomped on by these hungry insect larvae. If you have holes in your winter clothes caused by these larvae, unfortunately it’s too late for those clothes; time to ask Santa for a new sweater or winter coat. But if you know some preventative methods, you can be sure this won’t happen to you next season when you pull your summer clothes out of storage!

Preventative Tips From Your Friends

  1. Vacuum carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture on a regular basis to eliminate any moth or beetle eggs or larvae that may be lurking in your home.
  2. Clean and vacuum pet beds and any areas where pets spend a lot of time. As pet hair accumulates, so does the chance that carpet beetles or clothes moths will be present.
  3. Thoroughly launder all clothing items before storing them away for the season. Larvae are looking for organic debris and bodily oils as well as fabric, so the cleaner the clothing, the better chance it has of escaping these little hungry larvae.
  4. Store clothing in clear storage tubs in cool areas. Before you put your storage bins away into storage, make sure these areas are clean and well vacuumed. Vacuum drawers, shelves and any other places you plan to store your belongings, especially if you have seen spider webs in these areas before.
Proactive pest control throughout the year is the best way to make sure your clothing stays intact in storage, and as a rule will help protect your property from infestations of all kinds of insects. There are some do-it-yourself products available to control these clothes eating pests, but if applied incorrectly they can seriously endanger the health of your family and pets.  Be sure to consult a pest management professional before using do-it-yourself pesticides. For more information on clothes destroying moths and beetles, give us a call! We'd be more than happy to help you with your pest problems. Contact us today at Plunkett's Pest Control for more information and to schedule your first appointment.

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