When is Moth Season and How to Prepare Your Home

Yellow Spring Tulips in a clean kitchen

Nothing is quite as frustrating as getting your favorite clothes out of storage, only to find them ragged and moth-eaten. Moth holes are unsightly, frustrating to repair, and slightly disgusting! So what can you do to prevent them? In this case, the best offense is a good defense!

Keeping your clothes safe from moths and intact will depend on your ability to prevent these insects from making a meal of your natural fabrics. As such, the big question is, are you ready for Moth Season? Below, we’re going to fill you in on everything you need to know so that your wardrobe will be safe and sound all year round!

Let’s Talk About Clothes Moths

Before we dive into moth-hole-prevention, let's talk about these little insects. After all, understanding them can help you keep them out of your clothes! Moths are in the species order Lepidoptera with butterflies. Did you know that there are over 160,000 species of moths in the world? Some moths are big, some are small, and some are actually quite beautiful!

However, only one species of moth eats your clothing. This annoying little troublemaker is called the Common Clothes Moth, or, Tineola Bisselliella. Discovered in 1823, the larvae of these moths are serious pests. Clothing moth caterpillars (larvae) derive their nourishment from eating your clothing.

Wool, in particular, is a favorite snack of theirs. Other natural fibers aren't safe either. Even though Clothes Moth larvae like wool best, they won’t hesitate to eat cashmere, silk, fur, mohair, angora, and even feathers! Basically, they eat the expensive, genuine stuff.

As these icky little larvae eat through your clothes, they leave holes in their wake. The result is a wardrobe full of damaged, and in many cases ruined, sweaters, hats, and clothing items. Obviously, no one wants that!

a woolen sweater which has been eaten by moth larvae

When is Moth Season?

So when exactly is Moth Season, anyway? Moreover, when does Moth Season end? It will depend on where you live. It also depends on the weather. The life cycle of Clothing Moths is dependent on the temperature. Modern indoor heating and warm winters can make the Moth Season differ from year to year. With this in mind, Moth Season occurs at generally the same time each year, in the springtime.

About Moth Season in the US and UK

In the United States and much of Europe, Moth Season is in the springtime. As soon as the weather warms up, these moths start emerging fully grown and looking for a mate. Moth mating season is when you will notice moths most. Moth hatching season is when the eggs hatch and larvae begin to eat through your clothes in dark, quiet places.

However, if moths are emerging in your home, there is a good chance that your natural fiber clothing has already been damaged. Adult moths do not eat. Their sole purpose is to mate and lay eggs. It's the larvae that are responsible for damage to your clothes.

The eggs of Clothes Moths will hatch, eat through clothing, make a cocoon, and then emerge when the next season starts, which could be in two months or in a year. It all will depend on how warm or cool the weather is. Indoor heating can also play a role, meaning moth life cycles could perpetuate indefinitely within a home. This is known as an infestation.

a Clothes Moth Larva

After mating, they will lay their eggs, which will hatch into larvae, and begin tunneling through your expensive clothes.

When is Moth Season in the US Based on Your State?

In the United States, Moth Season usually starts in the spring and ends two to four weeks after you first begin seeing the moths emerge. During this 2-4 week period, the moths will mate and females will lay their eggs to make room for a new generation.

In the Southern United States of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and even Florida, Moth Season can begin as early as late February. In the Midwest, Moth Season is usually in March and April. For the US Southwest and West Coast, March and April mark the beginning of the month season.

In the arid north and colder western states of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah, Moth Season is usually at the end of April or middle of May. If the winter in an area is particularly warm, Moth Season may start earlier.

When is the Moth Season in the UK?

In Europe, and the UK, Moth Season usually begins in the second week of April and can extend through August. Also, in September there may be a second wave. Since the life cycle stages of these moths work in 15-50 day timelines, Moth Season will usually last three weeks but could have a second wave about two months after the first, depending on the weather.

How to Prepare for Clothes Moth Season?

There are a few ways to easily prepare for Moth Season so that no moths enter your home in the first place. First, consider using cedar in your home. Cedar naturally repels moths and other insects and keeps them from moving in and laying eggs. Plus, it smells great! You can also use moth repellents in your closets to keep moths from coming to visit.

Sometimes, a moth infestation comes from another source than just moths. Moth eggs are very small and will stick to the fibers of clothing. As such, before bringing home any new clothes, be sure to inspect them for moth larvae.

eggs laid by Clothes Moths

So, if new clothes can be washed, consider washing them before putting them in your wardrobe or in storage. Washing your clothes in warm or hot water before storing them is a surefire way to remove moth eggs. Clothes can be beaten or shaken off outside to remove eggs before you put them in your closet.

Finally, be sure to keep your home vacuumed and dusted. However, with older homes, no matter how much you clean, moths may still come to pay you a visit.

Effective Moth Prevention Strategies:

  • Use Cedarwood
  • Wash Clothes Before Storing Them
  • Use Moth Repellents
  • Try to Keep Windows Closed at Night

Begin Treatment of a Clothes Moth Infestation at the First Sight

If you think you have a moth infestation, the smartest thing to do is act fast. Putting Moth Traps in place will help by catching the adult males - stopping those moths from breeding. Using a Moth Killer Kit will kill not just the male and female moths, it’ll also kill the larvae and any unhatched eggs!

If you have a severe infestation you could call in professional pest controllers. Although expensive, professional pest control services can get the job done while you get on about your day-to-day duties!

Additionally, if you believe that there may be moth larvae in your clothing, you can put your clothes in a bag and throw them in the freezer. Freezing your clothing for a minimum of 24 hours will kill the larvae. Moth larvae are usually active at night, so you are unlikely to see them in the daytime.

Moth Season FAQs

Now, let’s go over some FAQs about Moth Season!

Why are there so many moths these days?

Because more people use indoor heating than ever before, moths are now able to survive indoors more easily. As such, Moth Season can be perpetuated through the winter. Also, moths have found ways to travel overseas via airplanes, ships, and storage containers. Clothing moths can now be found all over the world including Australia and many island nations.

When are moths most active?

Moths and moth larvae are most active at night. Since moth larvae can easily eat through clothing fibers in the dark and quiet, adult moths are also naturally prone to being active in the darkest hours.

What time of year do you get moths?

The most common time of year to begin seeing moths emerge is in the spring. However, the Moth Season can continue throughout the summer. A "second wave" of moths may also occur in the late summer months.

How long does Moth Season last?

Moth season depends on the life cycle of the moths and the weather. Usually, a generation of adult moths will be active for one month.

Do you get moths in winter?

It is possible to get moths in the winter. In fact, clothing moths will often lay eggs that hatch and eat through clothes all summer. Then in the fall, they make a cocoon where they grow into adults through the winter. In the spring when it warms up, these larvae leave their cocoons as full-grown adults.

Where do moths go during the day?

Moths are often inactive in the daytime. They fold down their wings and become very flat to hide in small cracks and crevices. Then, they emerge at night.

How to prevent moths?

lavender sachets and oil

It is important to prevent moths from getting into your home in the first place. To prevent them, be sure that all clothing that you bring into your household is free of moth eggs and larvae. Also, if you see moth eggs or larvae, wash your clothes immediately or freeze them. You can also use moth repellents and woods like cedar to keep these insects from being interested in your home.

How to treat a moth infestation?

Using Moth Traps and Moth Killer Kits is your front line in tackling a moth infestation. If you are struggling with eliminating a persistent moth problem then you may need the help of a professional pest controller.

About MothPrevention®

MothPrevention® speak to customers every day about their clothes moth issues - clothes moths are a species that are ever increasing and that can cause significant damage to clothes, carpets and other home textiles.

To date, we’ve helped over 150,000 customers deal with their moth problems. We have developed professional grade solutions including proprietary pheromones, not available from anybody else in the USA, and engineered in Germany to the highest production standards.

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