Last week we saw the first carpet moth flying across the room and then another. It is the time of year when they emerge from their larval state. They serve as a warning of the damage you can expect. The grubs will have happily eaten their way through household textiles, clothes, carpets or any natural fibre fabrics, leaving holes or whole patches of destroyed cloth. Woollen pullovers and jumpers are prime targets, but they also like rugs and carpets.
Typically hidden, in the most obscure corners, they are difficult to spot and eradicate. The main culprit in Rye appears to be a little golden-coloured moth believed to have been introduced a few years ago by an unsuspecting visitor from America.
Commercially available moth killers may inhibit the next generation, but too late to save what has been spoilt already. If you don’t like using sprays, there are pheromone moth traps (as illustrated in the photo) which at least reduce the moth population. Another measure that definitely works is placing the item of clothing in the deep-freeze, because temperatures below minus 8 Celsius destroy the larvae.
Photo: Kenneth Bird