Do Moths Eat Clothes?

Clothes moths, tineola bisselliella, are particularly fond of cashmere; in fact I think they might just love it more than us. They search it out and by laying their eggs on the soft natural fibres, they can cause catastrophic damage to your favourite cashmere sweaters and accessories. 

If you see moths flying around your house they are unlikely to be the clothes moths, but pantry pests, the moth that infests your grains and flours. Clothes moths do not like the light and you will be unlikely to see them, plus the adult moth won't do any harm, it is the larvae that does the damage. The female moth will lay her eggs where there is plenty of food, cashmere, wool, fur, pet fur and other animal based materials. They will feed on them for a three months.

The common clothes moth life cycle starts in the late spring (April) when the weather starts to turn warmer and ends in the autumn (September). The female adult moth can lay up to 300 eggs, in areas where clothes are, in their three-month life span. These moth larvae are poised to hatch into destructive invaders and commence the downward slope of wardrobe disintegration, by causing tiny holes to appear in your garments.

Moths eating cashmere

How to get rid of moths 

  • Spring clean your wardrobe. The common clothing moths will seek out animal fibres and love dark dusty corners so vacuum and wash your wardrobe and any drawers.
  • Keep all garments clean, washed or dry cleaned, for more information on washing cashmere read our blog on how to wash cashmere.
  • We recommend that you carefully fold your clothes and store your knitwear in a breathable storage bag, ideally with an anti moth sachet packed between garments. Try not to pack too tightly as the garments need to have room to breathe. Do not use plastic bags as the clothes cannot breath.
  • Use moth repellent products. We think the most effective way of preventing moths is by using a pheromone "Moth Box"together with a variety of anti-moth products. The moth box is one of the most effective way of trapping moths as it attracts the the males and traps them therefore stopping the cycle of the females laying their eggs. It also helps you monitor the level of infestation. Our specially formulated "Linen Spray" and "Anti Moth Sachets" will emit a sweet fragrance which is designed to deter them, as well as keeping your clothes fragrant, unlike so many other anti moth products.
  • Regularly check the garments for signs of a moth infestation. 
  • This may seem a strange recommendation, but it is advisable to place your sealed bags of cashmere into the freezer every so often, as should any eggs have been laid, the below zero temperature will kill them off and prevent any holes forming.
  • All our Cashmere garments are sold with a small bag of spare yarn attached to the swing ticket. Should the worse happen and you do discover a small hole caused by moths, a piece of yarn in the same shade, will help the repair to be as invisible as possible. (we do hope that you never have to use it...but do keep it somewhere safe, just in case)

Anti moth products

We have developed our own natural range of cashmere care products and anti-moth products, which work effectively, and which have been formulated especially for us. Discover our range of cashmere care over on our main site.