My intense interest in clothing moths started as a matter of necessity. After moving to a new home, one evening I noticed a small moth flutter through my kitchen. This seemed peculiar because I had not opened any windows or doors that evening. I also noticed the moth did not look like the moths you usually see outside that congregate around light bulbs at night. This moth was smaller—about the length of a fingernail—and it did not seem to be attracted to the lights in my house. I released the moth outside and thought nothing of it.
Over the next week, I started seeing moths in different areas of my home—in the bedroom, in the hallways, even in the basement. I would return home from work only to see them basking on the walls in the middle of the day. This is when I realized I had a serious moth infestation in my home.
For the next three weeks, I made it a point to shake out all of my clothes, identify and destroy every moth I saw, and thoroughly clean the house. “Surely,” I thought, “this will do the trick!” Yet, time after time, my efforts were in vain. The moths continued to spring seemingly out of nowhere.
Undeterred, I decided to purchase several boxes of moth balls before an upcoming vacation and strategically place them in my home. “This will show them,” I thought. I opened a few bags and placed them in strategic positions throughout my home, like my closet, basement, kitchen, under couches, and under my bed. I figured by the time I got home, the temporary stink of the mothballs would be a good trade off for getting rid of the clothes moths. Boy, was I wrong!
Opening the front door to my house let out a sickening face blast of dichlorobenzene gas. It’s a pungent, artificially-sweet smelling gas that is released from mothballs which is intended to kill larvae and end the moth life cycle. The problem with mothballs is that the gas embeds itself into nearly every surface imaginable, meaning even if you wash your favorite pair of jeans many times, the smell of mothballs may take months to go away.
I removed all of the mothballs in my house—which had been gassed for upwards of two weeks—only to find a moth fluttering in my bedroom that same day. The mothballs had failed. It was time for another strategy. It was time to declare outright war.
In the process I’ve learned many valuable lessons about moth identification, treatment, and prevention. During my experience, I was never able to find the amount of information online I needed to fight this pest effectively. That’s where the genesis of this website was born. My goal is to share my moth knowledge so you too can safely eliminate clothes moths from your home.
–The Moth Guy