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How to Protect Clothing from Insect Damage

Carpet Beetles

Emerging from eggs laid on clothing, furniture, and carpet, carpet beetle larvae can ruin a closetful of clothes in no time, especially natural items like wool, fur, mohair and more. 

What to look for: Small beetles for adults (most commonly black or brown, sometimes multicolored), and small caterpillar-like larvae (usually brownish red, covered in fine hairs).

Moths


Infamous for leaving holes in clothing, moth larvae feed on wool, flannel, fur, and almost any other textile that’s dirty or recently used (sweat, food, skin oils, etc are all appetizing to these destructive pests).

What to look for: Whitish worm-like larvae with a hard outer shell, and very small white or gold-colored moths for adults.

Silverfish and Firebrats

These close relatives are both expert clothing destroyers, preferring starched items, natural fibers like rayon, silk, and cotton, and those stained with sugary food and drink. 

What to look for: Silver wingless insects with carrot-shaped bodies about ¼ inch long.

Roaches


While they don’t usually eat clothing on purpose, roaches are attracted to the sweat, and food spills that end up on our clothing. When consuming these items, they often create holes and stain fabrics with excrement.


Crickets


Like roaches, crickets eat clothing stains not clothing itself. Small holes and tears, not to mention cricket poop, can easily lead to hundreds of dollars in damage in only a few weeks.

 

Store Items Correctly

That means freshly cleaned, starch-free, and in a cool, dry place in tightly sealed containers or nylon bags (leather and fur items require breathable bags, such as cotton).

Vacuum

Regularly cleaning and vacuuming rugs, carpets, draperies, baseboards, furniture, and storage closets substantially lowers your risk of clothes-eating pests by removing eggs, larvae, and the debris they need to survive. Dispose of the bag when finished.

Naturally Kill & Repel 

Hang freshly dried lavender or Cedar Granules inside of a stocking in your chosen storage area to protect against damaging bugs. A cedar-based spray like Cedarcide Original can also be used throughout the space to kill and repel.

For already infested items: try washing & drying them, freezing them for 48 hours, or treating them with a fabric-safe insecticide like Cedarcide Original.

 

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