Pests are holed up in millions of homes, and are hungry for our woollies

ommon clothes moth, destroyer clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella), on fabrics, Germany

© The Sun

A PLAGUE of moths is sweeping through wardrobes, chewing holes in woollies after a “perfect year” for breeding, pest controllers warn.

The pests – common clothes moths which feed on wool and natural fibres like cashmere, tweed, sheepskin and fur – are chomping through knits in millions of UK homes.

Brits digging out their winter woollies as temperatures fall are finding them dotted with holes caused by the hungry moth larvae which start feeding as soon as they hatch.

Unlike moths that are attracted to light, the Tineola bisselliella prefer dark, warm habitats like a chest of drawers or wardrobe.

“After the adult moth has laid her eggs on the threads of clothes, the larvae hatch out at any time between four and 21 days, depending on the temperature.

Clothes moths like their habitats dark and warm

© The Sun

“The newly hatched larvae are about 1mm long and will start to spin a small, silken tube, using some of the fibres of the fabric they are eating.

“They will eat from many sources including furs, woollens, animal bristles on brushes and even the felt inside pianos.

“In loft spaces they can infest old stored clothing, carpets, natural fibre insulation and even bird feathers.”

There are some tried and tested moth-away methods include making sure clothes are clean before putting them away – larvae like grime – and tucking fresh conkers among them.

As conkers dry out they produce a gas which is a mild insecticide that kills off moths and larvae.

Other natural remedies include eucalyptus, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and cloves.

baldwin, clare (2016) Moths which feed on clothes are sweeping through wardrobes after the ‘perfect’ summer for breeding. Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).



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