The U.K is experiencing record numbers of Clothes Moths due to the mild winter and early spring; call-outs for pest controllers to treat for moths more than doubled between February and March of this year! My colleagues round the country agree that this is a bumper year for moths and this unfortunately can mean problems for households everywhere. Although a little cooler than down south, up here in Aberdeenshire, we do not escape the menacing jaws of the moth larva, intent on ruining someone’s day.
Moths spend the cold winter months as pupae, waiting for the longer, warmer days to encourage them out of hiding to breed and it is just one stage of the moth life cycle that causes most of the problems for the likes of you and I. It is the larval stage of moths that cause damage to clothes, carpets and other items made of natural products. The moth larvae eat natural fibres such as cotton and wool and this is what can turn a favourite garment into something that looks like it was worn by Steptoe & Son, or a new wool carpet into something that looks worn from years of use! Not a pleasant thing to discover as my customers can attest to.
People may try to control a moth infestation by themselves and although this is possible, often they find that while they may have had some effect on the numbers of adult moths they see around the property, it is a tall order to really get on top of all the moth eggs, larva and adults that may be hiding around in all sorts of nooks and crannies. If you don’t manage to kill them all off, you can find your infestation returning pretty quickly and things getting out of control. The financial cost of moth damage can easily surpass the cost of a professional pest control treatment, so it can make financial sense to take the stress out of getting rid of these destructive pests.
Aberkil has carried out a number of moth treatments lately, one of which was a very large job involving multiple buildings and individual properties and often with cases like this, there was a lot of cross-infestation with the moths spreading from one building to another and for the residents it was getting out of hand and actually quite unpleasant dealing with the destruction of carpets, rugs and clothes. I have another couple of moth treatment jobs over the coming days and it seems likely we will be getting more calls very soon at this rate.
When you call in a professional to deal with a moth infestation, they will come and carry out an inspection to confirm the species and the extent of the problem. At this stage the pest technician can offer helpful advice on what the customer can do to help protect their valuable property from future moth problems, and also what they can do to help the technician maximise the benefits from a professional treatment.
Aberkil will vacuum the places likely to harbour moth eggs before applying a residual insecticide (long-lasting active ingredient) coupled with an ‘I.G.R’ which is an ‘insect growth regulator,’ basically a chemical that prevents insects reaching the adult stage that allows them to breed. Finally, a ‘space-spray’ is applied in all rooms and this is a fine mist of insecticide that billows out of a special machine and this produces a ‘knockdown’ effect that reaches into every corner and hiding place available. The whole process takes a few hours and for a further 4 hours afterwards, people and pets are required to be out of the property, to allow time for the space-spray mist to settle down out of the air.
Before a treatment for moths, customers can help themselves and us as professionals, by clearing away excess clutter from rooms and affected areas and this allows the technician to get the insecticide where it needs to go. With insecticide applications, it’s never a question of slapping large quantities down – on the contrary, it is how and where it is applied that matters, and in addition to that, we are legally obligated to follow the manufacturers instructions on dilution rates etc. We only use approved products that comply with all the relevant legislation and good industry Health and Safety practice.