What Attracts Moths and How to Prevent Them
Most species of moths pose no danger to humans, but their presence in your home or closet is not pleasant. So, if you are annoyed by these tiny insects, find out what attracts moths, and some tips to keep them out of your home.
Types of Moths and What Attract Moths to Homes?
For the most part, there are two types of moths which make their way into homes.
The first type feed on fabrics such as wool, fur, leather, silks, and other synthetic fabric. These include webbing clothes moths and case-making clothes moths.
The second type of moth infest food items in your kitchen and pantry. These include the Indian meal moth, Angoumois grain moth, and Mediterranean flour moth.
These moths invade your home because of the wide-availability of clothing and upholstery made up of animal-based materials or synthetic fabrics.
You will encounter clothes moths near fiber fabrics like silk, cotton, and wool. While webbing moths prefer to consume animal products like wool, fur, and leather items.
Clothes moths prefer to live in dark and secluded places. They tend to shy away from bright lights.
Moths will attach themselves to clothing items, and feed
on them leaving behind irregular holes and fecal droppings.
These moths are attracted to your home because of what’s in your kitchen and pantry. What attracts moths the most here are grains, cereals, and other processed products.
Usually, they make their way into your pantry via infested food packaging or grocery items. Once they’re inside they’ll start to lay eggs on grains. After the eggs hatch, caterpillars come out and start munching on stored grains, nuts, cereals, chocolates, and other processed food items.
Not only do moths damage food products by eating them,
but they can also contaminate them with their feces, webs, and cocoons.
Lights attract a lot of these moths. They love to gather around outdoor lighting and fly around it at nighttime. Moths can enter your house through an open window, doors, and even small cracks or holes.
Both clothes and food moths lay eggs in dark, humid, and secluded places. They do this to make sure their eggs are safe from predators. Besides bright lights, what attracts moths to your home could include a favorable habitat, shelter, and food choices.
Ways Moths Enter Your Home
The following are possible routes moths take to get into your house:
- An open window or door may have provided them an easy passage inside.
- Cracks and holes in the walls to sneak into your place.
- Larvae may hitch a ride on your clothes or in your grocery bags.
- Sometimes second-hand clothing could bring larvae with them.
- Plants infested with caterpillars could invite these insects to your garden.
- Second-hand furniture sometimes provides shelter to moth eggs and larvae.
Pantry moths are wanderers and fly into your house through open windows or following light. While clothes moths are shy and don’t travel long distances, but accidentally land into your place or onto your clothes which brings them in.
Prevention Tips Against Moths
Now that you know what attracts moths, and ways they can get in, here are some tips you can follow to keep them out:
Regularly vacuuming your home will not only prevent moths from infesting your place, but it will also keep other pests away. Make sure to vacuum your pantry too.
- Storing Pantry Products
Always store your grocery items, grains, nuts, cereals, and other products in air-tight containers. This will protect them from outside contamination, and keep pests out.
- Expired Products
Get rid of all out-of-date food items, and leftovers to prevent them from inviting moths and caterpillars to your kitchen.
- Inspect Food Items
Thoroughly check food items you bought before putting them in storage containers. This will avoid the contaminated food spreading to the other good food you already have.
- Inspect Household Items
Keenly inspect any household items you buy such as furniture, clothes, upholstery, fabric, rugs, and plants. Especially if you are buying them from second-hand shops.
- Outdoor Lighting
Limit the use of outdoor lighting during the night time. Use outdoor lights only when it’s needed, and make your home unappealing to moths, and other flying insects.
- Clean Clothing Items
Get rid of all the damaged fabrics and clothing items, and properly dry-clean the rest of the clothes. Don’t put dirty clothes in the closet because sometimes the smell and oils of perspiration invite moths. Also, dry your clothes properly before putting them in the closet, and never pile them up.
- No Insecticides
Insecticides aren’t encouraged to deter moths from entering your home because of their harmful nature. However, mothballs can be efficient in keeping these damaging insects away from your clothes and grains.***
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