How to get rid of moths

There are around 2,400 species of moth in the UK and most are harmless, however a few are seen as pests because of the damage their larvae cause to materials, textiles and other products. Unlike other pests moths do not cause any health risks.

Inside your home or business moths can cause real damage to natural fibres in carpets, clothes, fabrics and fur. Moth caterpillars eat the protein found in natural materials like wool, cotton and silk which means delicate items are particularly at risk. Signs of a moth infestation include seeing damage to textiles, small, maggot-like larvae and the adult moths crawling around rather than flying.

How to prevent infestations

Keep moths out of your home or business with fly screens or curtains at night to stop them coming in windows. Vacuum regularly under large furniture and rugs to get rid of any moth eggs before they hatch. Also take care when storing clothes made from natural fabrics by washing them thoroughly and storing in a sealed plastic bag or suitcase.

As moths can cause a lot of damage to clothes, carpets and other materials, it’s important to take immediate action as soon as you see any signs of an infestation.

Preparing for a moth treatment

Follow these steps to make your moth treatment as effective as possible:

  • Clear access to all areas where moths are found.
  • Clear all carpeted floors and rugs and vacuum thoroughly, then empty the vacuum cleaner straight into a dustbin or change the bag.
  • Empty wardrobes and hot wash or dry clean all clothes (following care instructions on labels).
  • If possible move furniture away from the edges of the room.
  • Some moths are found in more localised areas like kitchen cupboards. If this is the case, empty the cupboards of all items so a proper inspection and targeted treatment can be made.
  • People and domestic pets must leave the rooms being treated and not return until the insecticide is dry. Cover fish tanks and all electrical appliances.
  • Do not enter treated rooms for at least four hours after treatment, or until the technician advises.
  • Do not vacuum the carpets or clean the treated area for at least 14 days to allow the insecticide to work.
  • One treatment may not be sufficient to control the infestation, but the products used carry on working for some weeks. The moths should die off gradually after coming into contact with the insecticide. If there’s still a problem after 14 days after the original treatment, please call us on 0208 9776894. Unfortunately we cannot offer any guarantee of completely eradicating moths.
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Scientific name


Life span

12 months

Did you know

Like ants, wasps and flies, moths can’t stand the bitter smell of cucumber peel, and some people find it makes a good, natural deterrent.

Types of moth

Clothes moth

The adult clothes moth is 6-8mm long and has straw-coloured fringed wings with no markings. Its larvae are creamy white with brown heads and up to 10mm long. Clothes moths run rather than fly and will avoid the light. If you find irregular holes in fabrics then clothes moths are usually the culprits.

Brown house moth

It’s common to see brown house moths in your home. The adult is brown with three or four darker spots and 8–14 mm long. Its larvae are up to 20mm long and feed on animal textiles like wool, leather and feathers.

Case bearing moth

The adult case bearing moth’s wingspan is 9-16mm. It is a type of clothes moth species and can be found all over the UK living indoors and outside. The larvae feed in a portable case on materials such as wool and fur.