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Unclean carpets could be a cause of clothing attacks from moths

A rise in the number of eggs laid by moths in carpets is being blamed for an increase in the number of invisible mending requests at dry cleaners.

Due to rising temperatures and Britain’s warmest winter for 400 years, there has been a rise in insects and larvae.

Particularly damaging to clothes are cloth-eating moths. Dr. Zoe Randle of Butterfly Conservation said:

“These mild, damp conditions will have encouraged the breeding of the common clothes moth and case-bearing clothes moth caterpillars, which are the main clothes-eating culprits.”

A moth lays up to 100 eggs in its short life time, and a favourite place for depositing them is in carpets. The eggs lie dormant for 4-10 days before the larvae hatch.

When they hatch, the young moths are hungry and have a taste for fibres, and particularly the clothes hanging in wardrobes. They spin tubes of webbing across the clothes they are eating.

Moths should die off in cold weather, but with milder winters and centrally heated houses, they live longer.

There has been an increase in people taking moth-damaged clothes to dry cleaners for mending. A spokesman for Johnson Cleaners said:

“While invisible mending can be done in some cases, you cannot insure garments against moth damage.”

It helps to keep wardrobes doors closed, and carpets need to be vacuumed regularly, but these measures may not be enough to eliminate the problem. Johnson Cleaners is urging people to hire professional carpet cleaning experts, so Cheshire and North Wales homeowners should bear this in mind.

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