Warm weather blamed for record number of clothes moths

The mild winter and early start to spring have meant moths are having a bumper time - and our clothing is suffering.

Moths have been chewing through our clothes and carpets at a record rate, with reports of clothes moth infestation rising by a third in the year up to the end of March.

Call-outs to pest controllers have also more than doubled in the UK between February and March, increasing by 103% compared to the same period last year, according to figures from Rentokil.

David Cross, head of Rentokil's technical training academy, said: "The indoor population of clothes moths has been bolstered by the early onset of spring that we are currently experiencing, and the unusually mild winter that we have just had.

"Outdoor numbers of clothes moths are also doing well, nesting in animal and birds' nests before moving into our homes to settle.

"While we've enjoyed the sun this April, these recent figures suggest it's more likely consumers will experience a moth infestation this month, and throughout the year."

The moths' caterpillar larvae feed on protein found in material such as silk, fur and wool and the warmer weather speeds up their breeding process.

If conditions are good, up to three new generations can be produced per year.

Mr Cross said: "Freezing clothes or having them dry cleaned are practical methods of pest control when dealing with contained populations of moths on infested items."

But five or six moths in a room could signify a serious infestation and professional help should be sought, he said.

Adult moths are 6-8mm long with straw-coloured wings and no markings, while the clothes moth larvae are about a centimetre long and cream-coloured with a brown head.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes