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Clothes-munching moth menace attacks Midlands; Householders urged to check for signs of larvae with appetite for destruction.

Byline: MIKE LOCKLEY Staff Reporter mike.lockley@trinitymirror.com

HOUSEHOLDERS are bracing themselves for the credit munch as a clothes moth epidemic spreads through the West Midlands.

And the bad news is the pests have expensive tastes. They won't touch any man-made fibres and have a real appetite for wool. That means your carpet, as well as your clothes, are an ideal snack for the moths.

It could also mean curtains for your curtains.

Dr Zoe Randle, of The Butterfly Conservation, blamed an exceptionally mild winter on unprecedented moth numbers. She said: "It could be these mild, damp conditions that have encouraged the breeding of the common clothes moth and case bearing clothes moths, who are the main clothes-eating culprits."

Years ago, the menace was kept at bay by mothballs - and they could make a comeback if the epidemic continues.

Robert Carp, head of pest control company Prokill, which specialises in eradicating properties of the pesky insects, stressed it's the larvae, not the moth, which causes the damage.

Moths out quiet, dark in which lay their eggs - He said: "The moths just flit anywhere between and 300 around. In some new builds they can infest the insulation in the walls, and that can cause problems. Unfortunately, they go for the most expensive things because they like the wool content.

"If it's a man-made fibre, they won't touch it."

Four moth species have an appetite for domestic destruction: | Damage to clothing is caused by the larvae of the common clothes moth and case bearing clothes moth.

seek | Brown house moth larvae feed on natural, organic materials such as feathers, wool and leather.

places to | The larvae of the white shouldered house moth infest foodstuffs.

200 Robert added: "The trouble with moths is that they conceal themselves well and can go unnoticed for some time. Moths seek out quiet, dark places in which to lay their eggs - anywhere between 200 and 300. Favoured breeding grounds include drawers, cupboards and wardrobes where you may have stored clothing that remains undisturbed. They will also lay eggs in carpets that don't get regularly vacuumed - those hard to reach places under beds and sofas are ideal."

The steady rise in the problem, sparked by one of the warmest winters since the 17th century, has been noticed by dry-cleaning chain Johnson Cleaners.

Graham Warren, from the company, urged householders to regularly check garments for signs of larvae that look like grains of rice.

Dirty clothes should not be left in piles for more than a couple of days.

He added: "Seeing these kinds of moths flying around in your home is a problem, but not THE problem. It is their caterpillars that do all the damage."

Moths seek out quiet, dark places in which to lay their eggs - anywhere between 200 and 300

CAPTION(S):

| Brown house moth larvae feed on natural, organic materials such as feathers, wool and leather

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 3, 2016
Words:483
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