Clothes moth and carpet beetle larvae feed in quiet, dark areas-closets, attics, bureau drawers, storage trunks or boxes. Items that are stored for long periods are especially at risk. |
To prevent infestation by clothes moths and carpet beetles, practice good housekeeping. If carpets and rugs are vacuumed frequently and thoroughly, eggs and larvae will be removed before damage can occur. Vacuum upholstered furniture carefully. If you have pets, pay special attention to removing animal hair-it is a food source for moth and beetle larvae.
Such pests seldom infest items used on a regular basis. They do not damage rugs and carpets in regular traffic areas or where routinely vacuumed. Areas next to the wall or under furniture are likely targets for these hungry insect larvae.
Decorative rugs and needlework displayed on the walls of your home also should be vacuumed. Heirloom items that have been stored for safekeeping should be inspected regularly.
Clothing and other textile items should be stored only if clean. Storage areas should be kept clean. Vacuum the floors, shelves, and walls to remove dust, webs, and any inconspicuous eggs or pesky insect larvae.
Clothing and other textile items can be protected by storing them in tight-fitting containers or carefully sealed boxes with a moth repellent. The vapors of the repellent are lethal to fabric pests only if they are maintained at sufficient concentrations for a sufficient amount of time. Follow the manufacturer's instruc-tions carefully. Generally, two to three weeks of treatment will ensure absolute kill of all stages of insect pests-egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
After storage, air items for a few days before using them to get rid of any odor. If items are washable, launder them before using.
If you find that your home has an infestation of clothes moths or carpet beetles, remove all items from the infested area carefully. Vacuum the areas thoroughly and wash surfaces that have been in contact with infested items. Be careful not to contaminate other areas of your home.
Before returning items to areas that were infested, launder or dry-clean them. Both laundering in hot water and dry-cleaning will kill all stages of fabric pests. Cleaning also will remove food stains or body oils, which attract insects. Brushing and sunning items will help to rid them of eggs and larvae. Brush items outdoors to prevent infestation of other items.
If items were heavily infested, it may be best to discard them to avoid re-infesting the area. Then watch the area to be sure there is no damage to stored items.
Cold storage is an effective way to protect previously uninfested furs and other items from insect damage. It does not kill the eggs or larvae. It simply prevents the larvae from feeding. Infested items should be cleaned prior to cold storage.
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