Sherlock Holmes has nothing on the Brody Brothers. At least when it comes to solving your pest mysteries. We get a lot of calls from homeowners who suspect that they have a pest problem, but don’t know what they’re dealing with and don’t know where to start. We relish the challenge to figure out what pest is giving you a headache and the safest way to get rid of it.
The Usual Suspects
We get a lot of calls this time of year asking about holes in fabric. Our clients assume it’s moths or other insect damage, but we know there’s often more to the case. About half of these situations actually turn out to be mechanical damage from washers and dryers, or chemical damage from cleaners or bleach. Our first sleuthing step is to find out what kind of materials have holes—if it’s mainly synthetic clothing or cotton tee shirts being damaged, it’s most likely not an insect problem.
Although there are rare exceptions, almost all the other calls we get about holes in fabrics are caused by cloth webbing moths and casemaking clothes moths, although there is little distinction between these two moth species when faced with holes in your favorite sweater. Unlike other moths you may be familiar with, clothing moths prefer dark corners and scatter when they see light, which is why you may not lay eyes on these insects even if you confirm an infestation.
Once the damage is done, there’s little we can do as exterminators, but moth infestations can be prevented by cleaning Persian and wool carpets every two years, and cashmere and wool sweaters every year before storing for the season. Fur coats should be stored in temperature controlled storage facilities to prevent damage from moths and other insects. If you or someone in your family likes to knit, make sure that any unused wool yarn is stored properly as well—you don’t want your hobby to create a household headache.
All susceptible clothing that you store in your home for extended periods of time, including wool, silk, fur and other animal fibers, should be kept in airtight boxes or bags. If you’re not a fan of the smell or toxicity of mothballs (and let’s face it, who is?), you can try lavender and cedar to prevent moths, although we’ve seen mixed results with this approach. If you already think you might have an infestation, ironing clothing can kill moth eggs and larvae to prevent the problem from getting worse, as it’s actually the larvae that cause the fabric damage; the adults don’t eat anything. If you’ve found casemaking clothes moths in your carpeting or underlayment, you’ll need professional help to ensure that all the eggs and larvae are removed.
Let us be your Pest P.I.
Put us on the case of solving even your most head scratching pest mysteries. We can give you tips on preventing all the most common pests in our area and we guarantee you a pest-free home and commercial property. Call Brody Brothers to get clued in on protecting your property from bugs, rodents and other animal invaders.