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How to Get Rid of Fabric Pests

Nov 9, 2012

The weather is finally turning cold so you reach in your closet and pull out your favourite sweater. You haven’t had the opportunity to wear it for several months, so you’re devastated to find that it is covered in holes created by some kind of fabric pest. There are three main types of fabric pests: clothes moths, carpet beetles, and hide beetles. All these pests share an ability to digest keratin, the main protein found in hair, which makes natural fabrics in sweaters, coats, upholstered furniture, and furs an ideal meal. Unfortunately, the damage caused by fabric pests is all too familiar to most of us, which is why we spend countless hours trying to prevent or rid our homes of these annoying critters. In this article, we will discuss some of the best techniques for how to get rid of fabric pests.

  

Habits of Fabric Pests

 

The larvae of fabric pests attack clothing and household furnishings that are made from animal-based materials, especially if these materials have traces of food, body oils, feces, or urine. Synthetic and plant-based fibres like linen, cotton, or silk are generally unaffected by these pests. The larvae prefer an environment that is dark and undisturbed, and infestations can spread from one home to another, or from outdoor sources such as bird or rodent nests. You should be especially careful about second hand clothing as fabric pest larvae may be living in these items. Once an infestation has entered your home, these pests can move around freely. They can crawl from one room to another, through your rugs, and into closets around the home and cause untold fabric damage.

  

Tips for Prevention

 

Because fabric pest infestations can move from one source to another with ease, prevention is one of the most important steps in keeping a fabric pest-free home. Good housekeeping is the key to avoiding problems. Second hand clothing should be washed thoroughly, and carpets, upholstery, and fabrics around your home should be cleaned and vacuumed regularly. You’ll want to pay special attention to dark or hidden areas such as inside closets, under furniture, and even the edges of carpets where it meets wall.

  

Elimination of Fabric Pests

 

Fabric pests are versatile and resilient, so it can be very difficult to get rid of them. Once you find an infestation, search carefully to find everything that is infested. You should clean or treat all clothing/fabric items in the area of the infestation, and you should remove damaged and infested items. Clean and treat your closet, cupboards, and drawers where you find an infestation. Woolen materials should be stored properly to prevent future infestations. In more serious cases, you may consider a commercially available pesticide to treat cracks, crevices, and hidden surfaces. Ultimately, fabric pests can be very pervasive and many homeowners find hiring professional pest control services to be the most effective and long lasting treatment against infestations.


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