Moths – A Holey Nuisance

What is a mothball? You’ve probably heard of them but all too often people think of them in relation to their grandparents or bygone years. I’d wager that not many in the younger generation have ever actually seen (or smelled) one. However, moths are still a modern problem in Southern California and there are ways you can get rid of them.

Why Moths Are a Nuisance

A moth is attracted to natural fibers such as silk, hair, felt, fur, wool, or feathers. In the past, people were less likely to get rid of clothes and instead packed them away for another season or generation. They also wore a lot of natural fibers since they didn’t have fancy fabrics like rayon or polyester.

That is why mothballs were so popular. Mothballs contain chemicals which evaporate into a gas that is toxic to moths. Therefore, they were placed alongside the clothing being stored so that when unpacked, the clothes would not get eaten by moths (or their larvae).

Other Types of Moth Problems

Although most famous for ruining clothes, having moths also causes other problems.

Several different types of moths have larvae that sting. If you see adult moths in your home, there is a very good chance the larvae are around also. Watch out for small children, especially those crawling on the floor or in the yard. They have a greater chance of coming across the larvae or caterpillars.

Fruit trees and home gardens attract moths. Moths lay their eggs on the leaves and when their babies hatch they have a ready food source at hand. A single caterpillar can devour as much as 200 leaves before spinning its chrysalis.  It does not take long for months and butterflies to decimate a garden or landscape.

How to Get Rid of Moths

So, how can you get rid of moths without having to resort to smelly mothballs?

The best way to get rid of moths is to eliminate their food source and light. Often, moths are attracted into our homes by light. Install yellow-hued LED light bulbs in your outdoor fixtures. They do not kill or repel flying bugs, but they won’t attract them either.

If you find an infested plant, rug, or garment, remove it immediately. You can get the clothing cleaned by a professional or have the rug treated. Remove any caterpillars from the plant and do your best to nurse it back to health.

Planting mint and thyme has also been proven effective in repelling moths. However, it is best to put mint in a container, rather than your garden. It is pernicious and it won’t take long for the mint to do more damage than the caterpillars.

The best solution if you find moth larvae in your garden is to pick off the caterpillars from the plants by hand or call a pest extermination company. They can help you figure out the best way to rid yourself of the pests.

Remember, Accurate Pest Control, in Irvine CA, is here to help you with all your pest control questions. Feel free to call and we can guide you on how best to get rid of moths and other nuisance creatures.