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Everything Residents Need To Know About Fabric Pest Control Involving Home Cleaning And Professional Dry Cleaning

A Giant Hairy Scorpion native to Arizona climbing on a cactus.

Everything Residents Need To Know About Fabric Pest Control Involving Home Cleaning And Professional Dry Cleaning

It is not uncommon to find moths hovering around porch lights, and they can be an occasional nuisance in homes, but they are not typically found in dark closets, attics or storage rooms. However, some moth species often invade homes where they infest and damage clothing and other fabrics. When moths are found fluttering near clothing, carpeting, fur, rugs and other textiles, a clothes moth infestation has likely been established. In addition to clothes moths, many beetle species are known fabric pests. Fabric pest infestations are tremendously difficult to manage, but there are several ways in which homeowners can prevent and control fabric pest infestations.

Both beetle and moth species that feed on keratin in textiles and other manmade products are categorized as “fabric pests.” While fabric pests readily feed on fabrics that contain keratin like wool, silk, cashmere and even leather, they will also obtain nutrients by consuming perspiration that has been absorbed in dirty clothing and furniture upholstery. Fabric pests also readily eat rugs, kennel upholstery, and carpeting due to the large amount of pet fur, human hair, nail clippings, dead skin and other forms of biological waste accumulate on these fabric sources.

The first step in fabric pest management is cleaning out infested rooms and inspecting all fabrics for damage or for the presence of beetle or moth larvae. Beetle larvae are commonly referred to as “grubs,” and they somewhat resemble white maggots, only grubs are often shaped more like a bean, and some species are covered in thick hairs. Moth larvae are commonly referred to as “caterpillars,” and most people can recognize caterpillar pests by their small worm-like bodies that feature varying patterns of prickly hairs. All infested items should be discarded, and infested rooms should be vacuumed, dusted and thoroughly sanitized to prevent the pests from returning.

Having infested clothing dry-cleaned will eliminate fabric pests, and while home-washing appliances will eliminate fabric pests, it is recommended that infested clothing be dried outdoors in the sun where the natural light is hazardous to the pests. Before storing clothing, furs and textiles, all items that contain keratin should be dry-cleaned, as doing so will protect the clothing from fabric pest damage.

Have you ever found moths fluttering about in your home?

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