PEST CONTROL FOR MOTHS
We cannot blame people if they feel fear and contempt around moths. They just are not as beloved as their cousins, the butterflies. Nobody sees moths as the co-equal of butterflies. When you ask people living in the Triad area what they think about moths, they would most probably tell you that they are a nuisance, that they cause holes in their clothes, or that they damage their grains, pastas, flours, and other dry store foods. This is in sharp contrast to how they feel about butterflies, as they would tell you that butterflies are wonderful creatures that are given to us as a gift by Mother Nature.
Do you know that this fear of moths is so common that it even has its own name?
Mattophobia is the fear of moths. It is not as common as arachnophobia, but there is a considerable number of people around the world who have it. We will explain in greater detail what mattophobia is, and why it is helpful to have your friendly neighborhood Triad pest exterminators around to assist you.
Like any other pest, the first step in getting rid of moths is getting to know them. Believe me, it is hard to fight an enemy that you know nothing about. Go-Forth Pest Control, the leading pest control company in the Triad region, will tell you all you need to know about moths.
What are moths?
Moths are insects that are related to butterflies. They belong to the order Lepidoptera. There are at least 160,000 known species of moths, making them the largest group in this family. Evidence has shown that moths have been around for 190 million years now. This data was from the moth fossils that were found by scientists. In the United States alone, there are 11,000 species of moths, and most of them are nocturnal.
Moths have sucking mouthparts that are called a proboscis, which they can curl up when not in use. The proboscis’ main function is to suck nectar.
They have wings and a pair of antennae attached to their heads. Their wings have scales; moths are the only insects that have scales on their wings. They have feathery and threadlike antennae, which is different from the butterflies’. Butterflies have club-tipped antennae.
Moths are known to be attracted to light, which actually gave birth to the saying “like a moth to a flame”.
Moths undergo a complete metamorphosis their entire lives. In the beginning, an adult female moth lays her eggs; after the eggs hatch, they enter the larva stage, also known as the caterpillar stage.
As larvae, they begin to feed. If you have pantry moths, the larvae are in the pantry, feeding on your stored dry foods. If you have clothes moths, they will be in your closet destroying your clothes. Moths lay their eggs near places where the larvae can feed. The next stage is the pupa, and then finally the adult stage. Then the cycle will begin all over again.
There are some very unfortunate moths that do not have mouths that they can use to feed. Because of this, they only get to live just a few days as adults. For these types of moths, mating is the only reason they exist, dying after doing so. They live off the stored energy they got as caterpillars. The luna moth is one example of this.
Mattophobia, again, is the irrational and almost debilitating fear of moths. It is a special animal phobia. This fear triggers anxiety and panic attacks on the person who has it. While there are a few nuisance moths out there, most moths are peaceful and gentle. Yet for the individual with mattophobia, moths look like the devil incarnate. They fear going outside their homes as they are wary that moths might be outside waiting to pounce on them.
Mattophobia in people can be triggered by many things. It could be due to an event that happened during childhood. As a child, the person might have been attacked by a moth or frightened by it, and memories of that event may have recurred from time to time.
Experts say mattophobia, like any other phobias, can be overcome. Exposure to moths under a controlled environment in order to desensitize the person can help solve this issue.
Types of moths
There are many types of moths, but in this article, we will focus on the most destructive types here in the United States. It should be stated that most moths are beneficial to the environment and that these two types of moths are the “bad apples”. Let us get to know them.
Also known as Indian meal moths, Indian meal moths, or pantry moths. They are said to be the most troublesome among all the pantry pests because they infest any kind of dry foodstuffs like sugar, rice, cereals, grains, nuts, flour, sugar, pasta, dog food, dried fruits, and nuts. They can chew their way inside plastic and cardboard containers. Once they infest your stored foods, you will have to throw them away. They can cause economic damage and become a nuisance to every household.
Meal moths are about 8 to 10 mm in length. Their wingspan is around ⅝ inches. Meal moths are usually gray in color and with reddish-brown highlights in the outer linings of their wing.
How meal moths are able to enter your home depends on what you bring inside. Typically, they get in through the food packages that come from stores. For this reason, it is advisable to check packages before you buy them. See if there are webbings, a sure sign that there are meal moths inside the package. If you have already bought the food before noticing any of these moths in the package, take it back to the store. Make sure that the management will properly dispose of the package.
Clothes moths damage clothing and furniture; the proteins found in these items are what attract them. Clothes moths are very destructive since they like to destroy clothes, sweaters, carpets, and insulation.
Clothes moths prefer dirty and wet clothes. They do not travel too far off locations, so if you have clothes moths at home, they were most probably introduced by bringing in old carpets, rugs, or clothes. You even may not have noticed them living with you for years. What usually happens to several poor homeowners is that the numbers of these clothes moths would have already grown before you even notice them. Their population is said to have tripled in the last 5 years.
Clothes moths might be lurking in your house. You should proactively search for clues of their presence. Signs include spotting little holes in your clothes. Another sign is the presence of fecal matter on clothes and furniture. Their feces would appear as having similar color as the fabric, which usually contain the dye of the fabric that is fed on.
Tips on how to eliminate pantry moths
If the dried stored foods in your pantry are infested by pantry moths, throw them away immediately before they spread. Clean your cupboard every week to remove any eggs that may have been there. Keep your dry foods in sealed metal containers, since meal moths can chew their way into boxes and even plastic. Remove everything on the cupboards and cabinets then wipe with cloth. Vacuum as much as possible to remove even the eggs.
Tips on how to eliminate clothes moths
Remove your clothes from the cabinet. Wipe your cabinet’s surfaces using a soaked cloth. Soak it in soapy water in order to kill the larvae.
Freezing your clothes also helps kill the larvae. Put all your clothes in a plastic bag before you freeze them. Clothes that have been left unused for quite some time should be washed and dried every once in a while. You may use pheromone-laced cardboard traps. It is advisable to use this in combination with other methods. Using mothballs can also repel clothes moths.
If you already have moth infestation problems and are overwhelmed by it, do not worry. All you have to do is to pick up the phone and call Triangle’s pest control company for termites, ants, and mosquitoes, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Why Go-Forth Pest Control?
Triad exterminators know who the yardstick they measure themselves upon Go-Forth Pest Control.
Go-Forth Pest Control is a 61-year old company, making them the company with the best experience in handling all kinds of pests. These pests include moths, roaches, mosquitoes, flies, rats, mice, bed bugs, ants, termites, poisonous spiders, squirrels, and many more. They have highly skilled and well-trained technicians who use only the latest and most advanced technology in the business. They also make sure that the pest control methods that they use are family-friendly and pet friendly, so you can be assured of your family’s safety.
For more information, or to request an appointment, call us now!