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Do Clothes Moth Traps Work?

Moth traps are very good at killing moths, but that doesn’t help as much as you might think.

Adult clothes moths have very short lives dedicated purely to breeding and laying eggs. They don’t find each other with sight or sound, but with pheromones that drift through the air.

Sticky traps can be coated in these female clothes moth pheromones to trap and kill male moths, who don’t know the difference between a pheromone trap and a female.

These pheromone traps are highly effective at killing male moths. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, this won’t do much to help your clothes moth infestation.

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Why don’t moth traps work?

The adult clothes moths that you see crawling around your laundry basket or clumsily bouncing along your carpets aren’t the ones responsible for chewing through your wardrobe. In fact, they don’t even have mouths.

Clothes moth grubs are the one that do all the damage, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever even see them. By the time you’ve noticed adult clothes moths, the larvae have already gone through their entire lifecycle, by which point you’re too late and likely already infested.

As only adult male clothes moths are killed by pheromone traps, they won’t help you stop an infestation unless you’re lucky enough to kill the only male moth that entered your property.

Moth traps can reduce the spread of infestation by reducing the numbers of active breeding pairs, but the impact is so minimal that it’s barely worth mentioning.

If you’re relying on moth traps alone to tackle your clothes moth infestation, you’ll barely do better than if you did nothing at all.

If moth traps don’t work, why do you still recommend them?

Despite not being useful for directly treating a clothes moth infestation, we still use moth traps during our diagnosis and recommend that you use them as well during the peak clothes moth season in summer.

Pheromone traps tell us the extent of infestation, and whether you have a clothes moth infestation and not a different species of moth. We also leave them installed throughout a property after a treatment to make sure we fully exterminated the moths.

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    Moth traps also work as an early warning alarm that you have a clothes moth infestation, allowing you to get a treatment before the infestation becomes more severe and more damaging.

    One of the main problems with clothes moths is their shy and sneaky nature means that they can decimate your wardrobe before you even know they’re in your home. By using a pheromone trap, you can lure out the moths and take action immediately, rather than discovering them the hard way.

    So how can I get rid of clothes moths?

    An effective clothes moth treatment kills moths at every stage of their lifecycle. That means their eggs, their larvae and the adult moths. Unfortunately, there’s no way to do this with DIY treatments.

    The cost of professional treatments depends entirely on the extent of the infestation, so it’s important that you catch it as early as possible.

    At the core of our clothes moth treatment is a three stage application of a desiccating powder that dries out and kills eggs and larvae. Each stage is spread a couple of weeks apart to destroy any freshly laid eggs.

    We also provide fumigation if there are large numbers of adult moths in the property and heat treatment for severely infested wardrobes. We’re also licensed to remove and destroy any fabrics that are beyond saving.

    We’ll then install pheromone moth traps in the property to track the decline in moth population, allowing us to quickly apply another treatment should any reappear – which, fortunately, is very rare.

    So, while you shouldn’t ever depend on moth traps as a means of treating a clothes moth infestation, they can help you control the cost of getting professional treatment.

    Clothes moth traps: do they work?

    • Pheromone moth traps are very effective at killing the adult male clothes moths attracted to them.
    • However, clothes moth larvae are the ones that eat your fabrics, so killing adults doesn’t stop infestation.
    • Pheromone traps slightly reduce the breeding rate, but the effect is barely worth mentioning.
    • We still use pheromone traps in pest control but for diagnosis of an infestation rather than treatment.

    If you have any questions about clothes moths or would like to book a free, no obligation site survey, then request your call back today.

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