Summary of “Revenge of the clothes moths: as numbers boom, can they be stopped?”

In houses up and down the country, there is a war being waged against clothes moths.
Unlike the many moths that are in decline, these moths – the webbing clothes moth and the case-bearing clothes moth – are believed to be increasing in numbers.
Moth traps used by English Heritage at its properties and storage sites found a 216% increase in the number of webbing clothes moths caught between 2012 and 2016.
“Wool insulation is great environmentally, but if you stick wool up in your attic you’re going to get moths in it. Even worse, I know one house where they blew wool in cavity walls. They can’t get it out and they’ve got moths – they’re going to have to live with moths the whole time they live in that house.”
Moths will happily breed in warm, centrally heated homes throughout the year, says Pinniger, “But there is a peak of adult emergence usually in April and May, and often another one in late August/early September when you get another generation through. Some of the museums I work with, there are moths all year round because the temperatures are constant, and we’re getting at least three generations a year. Each female can lay 100 eggs. That’s a pretty big potential increase.”
Clothes moths can’t fly very far, so it is unlikely that they come into homes through open windows, although this is possible in urban areas.
“In some cases where we need to go beyond that, we use a commercial product called Constrain, which has a residual effect for a number of months. We use that to treat nooks and crannies where moths might like to hide away.” The National Trust has done a trial using tiny parasitic wasps, which seek out moths’ eggs and lay their own inside, hatching new wasps.
“They’re busy living on your clothes, slowly breaking it down. So, even when you don’t have moths, the idea that your clothes last for ever is an illusion. You’ve also got your skin bacteria that wait for you to put clothing on and then they metabolise your sweat. With that motley crew, the clothes moth is the most charismatic of the bunch.”

The orginal article.