How to catch moths with a pheromone moth trap
The Mottlock Moth Trap consists of a box with an optional hanger, a piece of sticky card with integrated pheromones, and full instructions. Simply pop the box together (it comes flat packed so it doesn’t get squashed in the post), peel the cover off a single sticky strip down the back to hold it in place in the box, and peel the protective layer off the front of the sticky card. Carefully, holding onto the non-sticky corner, insert it into the box and you’re ready to trap moths. You can slide the hanger piece through the top and hang it in a wardrobe, or hang it discreetly in a room, or even slide it under the sofa to attract moths that might be thinking of homing in on your wool rugs.
Each trap will be detected within a space of around 70 cubic metres. This is equivalent to one generously proportioned room or two smallish ones. It’s a good idea to have several traps distributed around the home.
Remember, the moth trap will only kill the male moths, and it’s the females laden with eggs that are going to drop a load somewhere where they can hatch into larvae and eat holes in your wool, silk, feathers and fur. The pheromone trap is part of a repertoire of products to manage moths in the home. The trick with this trap is to catch the male moths before they get the opportunity to mate, thus breaking the breeding cycle.
How to control clothes moths in the home
First of all, are you absolutely sure the moth in your home is a clothes moth? There are three species of moth in the UK whose larvae eat material with keratin in (that is, wool, silk, fur, feathers). There are hundreds of different species of moth, and most of them are completely harmless. The Mottlock moth trap emits pheromones that only attract the clothes moth and the case-bearing moth so if you set the trap and you are catching moths then yes, there are clothes moths in your home. The other one to look out for is the pale-backed clothes moth – that responds to other pheromones so if it looks like there’s a slightly larger moth munching your woollens then you’ll probably need one of our Chimney Sheep traps that attracts the pale-backed clothes moth and the common clothes moth.
If you discover moths in the home it’s tempting to purchase every anti-moth product you can find and try them all out at once. However this will confuse the moths as you are attracting them with one and repelling them with another. You need to be more cunning than that. The repellent products are better deployed once you have destroyed adult moths and their larvae. Then it is time to deter moths. Use the Mottlock Moth trap to kill the adult males. Use the Pistal professional insecticide with care on adult female moths and hatched larvae. This is made of an extract of chrysanthemums called pyrethrin, which is similar to the synthetic permethrins which are widely used in insect control. It is a natural product, is approved for organic use, and will become inactive after two to three days but while it is active it is lethal to all insects, even the beneficial ones, so this must be used with extreme caution.
OK so you’re on a mission to de-moth your house, you think you’ve got all the adults, but what if some of them have managed to lay their eggs already? This is where the hard work comes in. You need to do a thorough clean, wash wool and silk items on a wool wash, get them dry-cleaned if necessary. Don’t forget your sock drawer if you have pure wool socks and don’t forget your undies if you have pure silk underwear. You can put things in the freezer if it’s easier.
If you have wool rugs then these need to be vacuumed and cleaned underneath (the larvae are clever little beasts and can sneak under the rug where a vacuum won’t reach). Regular carpet shampoo products will not kill moth eggs so if the rug can handle the heat then steam clean it, if not then vacuum top and bottom. And replace the hoover bag / empty the contents if it’s bagless into a sealed bag.
Detect, destroy, deter
Having gone to all that trouble you don’t want to be doing it all over again. Once you’re sure you’ve got the moths and their eggs under control, it’s time to get the deterrents out. We have a very pleasant smelling lavender wardrobe hanger that is effective for six months. We also have a spray containing Neem extract which you can spray directly onto garments that you specifically want to protect. These should prevent moths from being tempted to approach these items as a safe place to lay their eggs, so long as they are re-charged every six months or so.
While deploying the deterrents, it’s recommended to have several Mottlock Moth traps deployed in strategic locations to check whether there are any repeat visitors. They are common in the wild (where they do a useful job of biodegrading material that would otherwise take a long time to break down) so if they are in the area they may decide to pop in for a visit. Use the moth trap somewhere away from the deterrents to keep an eye on things and prevent Mr Moth from getting lucky with any Mrs Moths that may be around. We sell refill packs for the boxes so you can keep using the box and just replace the sticky trap every three months.