Anyone who has pulled out their winter quilts when the weather starts to chill knows the experience of unfolding them and discovering tiny little holes dotting the wool. The culprits, of course, are moths. Moths (and other pests) are notorious for being difficult to spot until you discover the damage left by their presence.
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Small, dark areas like closets, basements, attics, and bathrooms are most susceptible to pest infestations. Thankfully, it’s possible to deter pests from ever invading your linen closet! Here are a few tips to help to keep your space free of creepy crawlies.
Know Your Pests
We all know moths love to eat fabric, but did you know they only target animal-based fabrics? Moths survive on keratin, the key protein found in our hair and nails. Keratin is also present in wool, cashmere, silk, furs, and anything else sourced from an animal.
Moths lay their larvae near these animal fabrics and then larvae eat the fibers to grow. That means your polyesters are safe from moths, but do be careful if you have anything made with a blend that includes an animal fiber.
Unfortunately, moths aren’t the only pests to worry about in your linen closet. While you may think you’re clear of moths, rodents and many insects will shred or eat all kinds of fabrics.
Store Fabric Correctly
The best way to store fabric is in a tightly sealed container. Ideally, choose one with a lid that snaps shut. Don’t forget to store your sewing and craft fabrics this way, too. Many of us have inherited old cedar chests from our grandparents for linen storage, but know that cedar can lose its effectiveness after a few years.
You may also want to keep a few silica gel desiccant sachets or some cedar blocks stored with your fabric. They’ll help to absorb humidity and ward off pests, but they should be replaced once or twice a year.
Finally, get your wools and heavy fabrics dry-cleaned before storing them for the season. It’ll help remove any traces of hair, food particles, dead skin cells, and other keratin-rich sources that moths would otherwise feast upon.
Clean Even in the Off-Season
Mice and lots of insects look for warm, damp, low-traffic places to build their nests. But they’ll have trouble taking hold if you disrupt their environment often enough. Regular cleaning also means you’ll be able to detect a pest problem before it gets too severe.
It may seem like a hassle, but it’s well worth your time to clean out stored linen closets regularly and vacuum or sweep. Instead of ignoring your summer linens for a season or two, clear out the closet and inspect the floor and shelves. Shake things out and refold them if you’re not storing them in a sealed container.
Don’t forget to keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean, too. When mice and silverfish nest in your linen closet, they’ll also be on the lookout for a food and water source. The bathroom humidity and crumbs on the kitchen tile just encourage them to call your mohair jacket their new home.
Call a Professional
There are more powerful options for preventing and handling infestations than you’d think! Usually, insects or rodents in one closet mean there are probably more hiding in the rest of the house. That’s why it’s best to handle the entire problem at once, rather than spot treating things one closet at a time.
Many professional pest control companies take a multi-step approach to sealing off hidden pest entrances, identifying the pest source or nest, and devise a solution to removing pests. They’ll treat the entire house and help prevent future infestations, too. Just be sure to check out pest control Perth reviews to find the best company near you.