‘Fantastic’ organic deterrents to stop moths eating your clothes

Countryfile: Ellie Harrison discusses moths on Putney Heath

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There’s nothing worse than finding unsightly gaps or holes in your bed sheets, and it can be even worse when it’s your favourite items of clothing. While moths are not always easy to spot lurking in your cupboards and drawers, they can do some serious damage if left unstopped. Though it may seem possible to seek out these hungry textile pests, an expert at Green Protect explained that it is easier than you might think.

Moth season in the UK lasts from May until October, so now is the prime time to take action against these fast-moving insects.

Bed linens, clothing, carpets and rugs are all especially attractive to moths, though it’s not eating them that they’re interested in.

In fact, the moth larvae are the ones that eat clothes as a food source, not the adult insects themselves.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Sophie Thorogood of retail brand Green Protect said: “Textile pests like clothes moths will feed on clothing that contains natural animal fibres such as woollens, cashmere and fur.”

The larvae, known as “moth caterpillars”, burrow into the soft fibres and feed on the nutrient-rich material, leaving small holes all over their nesting spot.

Destruction can be fast or slow, with most moth eggs known to hatch within 14 days in the warmer environments.

Sophie explained that while larvae are harmless to humans, they can “cause a lot of damage” if left unchecked.

How to stop moths eating fabrics

You may have to spend some time patching up holes or even throwing items away from moth destruction, but it can be prevented to stop it from happening again.

Sophie said: “Organic deterrents are one of the best solutions for getting rid of moths, and with their natural substances act as a fantastic preventative measure.”

Like many pests, strong scents are one of the most powerful ingredients that can be used to deter moths and larvae, and you probably already have them in your garden.

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Sophie said: “Herbs like, lavender and bay leaves repel moths, and the oil from these can also be sprayed on contaminated areas.”

To make your own anti-moth freshener, gather some fresh lavender flowers and leave them to dry out on a sunny windowsill for a few days.

Once the fragrant buds are crispy and dull in colour, fill small mesh or paper bags with the flowers and place them around clothing, bedding and towels.

This works best by tucking the scented pockets between layers, or hanging them up.

When the smell starts to fade, gently squeeze the dried buds to release more fragrance, or replace very old ones with brand new dried lavender.

Bay leaves can be used in the same way, or a handful of your chosen herb can be mixed with water for a more targeted spray treatment.

Trap moths

Trapping moths is another way to stop these dusty-winged insects in their tracks, and it’s very simple to do.

Sophie said: “Trapping moths is another preventative method to ensure you’re alerted early that there could be a pest problem.

“Using pheromone lures are a good way of trapping adult male moths as they perceive the signal as a female and therefore enter the trap with the aim of breeding.

“Trapping the male will help in suppressing the population as the male may not get the chance to breed.”

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