What’s Eating My Cashmere Sweater – Are They Moths?

how to prevent moth holes in sweaters

Sometimes you’ll go into your closet to get your favorite cashmere sweater or other expensive clothing item and find small holes in them.

You may wonder if you snagged the clothes on something or if you washed them too roughly, but often moths are to blame.

Moth damage to clothing can cause thousands of dollars in damage, and in many cases, you may need to throw the clothes out; even repairing could leave you with patchy garments that you don’t want to wear anymore.

Unfortunately, moths enjoy the finer things in life, preferring to feast on wool, cashmere, silk, and fur.

These materials are probably some of the most expensive you will have in your closet, and even more so if they come from high-end designers.

So, is it really moths flying around eating your clothes, and how do you stop the damage from occurring?

What Causes Moth Damage in Wool?

You generally won’t see moths flying around in gangs eating your wool clothing and then moving on to your neighbors to find their cashmere sweaters.

Instead, the damage to your clothing is done by the larvae or baby moths.

These tiny caterpillar-looking things are hard to spot, as they’re brown and about a quarter of an inch big – they blend in perfectly well with darker clothing.

The larvae will spend about 1½ weeks eating your clothes before moving on to the next stage of their life, so it’s not as if they’re spending years in there.

So, it’s crucial to stop moths from laying their eggs on your clothing in the first place.

Also, remember that there are several ways that moths can get onto your clothes:

  • You brought home something that already had moth larvae on it; once they grow to adults, they can add more larvae to your other clothing in an endless cycle unless you clean everything.
  • They flew in through an option door or window and started laying eggs. Not all moths eat clothing; it’s two primary varieties that do. So, killing any moth you see will not be a great choice.
how to stop moths eating clothes

How Do You Deal with Moths in Your Sweaters?

The best way to deal with moths in your clothing is to prevent them in the first place.

Attempting to fix or clean your clothes will not help in most situations once the damage has already been done.

You can have a skilled tailor repair, but you may end up will telltale signs of holes, which is often not what you want with expensive clothing.

To prevent moths from eating your clothes, there are a number of steps you should follow:

1- Washing

Wash all clothing you bring home before it’s placed into your closet or with other clothes.

You may need to use dry cleaning if they are expensive items that shouldn’t be washed.

Don’t leave your dirty clothes lying around; get those washed as quickly as possible. Dirty clothes are a favorite of moths and attract them.

2- Freeze

We’ve already advised that washing everything is the best and easiest method for removing moths that you find.

But freezing clothing items that can’t be washed easily is also a great way you can try.

If you freeze clothes in an airtight plastic bag for one week, the moths will die automatically within a day or two.

3- Mothballs

Buy some mothballs to leave in your closet.

However, these are toxic products that may not be ideal with dogs or children around.

4- Pheromone strips

Use pheromone strips instead of mothballs; while these don’t kill moths, they stop breeding, which cuts the cycle down.

However, the first cycle can cause damage to your clothing.

5- Store your clothes tight

Keep your natural fiber clothing, such as cashmere and wool, in airtight containers so that moths simply can’t get to them.

Being airtight will stop the moths from getting in and suffocate any moths still on your clothing.

6- Sprays for moths

You can use some moth repellent sprays for clothes in your closet that are specifically designed to kill moths while not damaging your clothing.

However, you’ll want to be careful when spraying and inhaling and ensuring that you’re clothing really isn’t being further damaged by the spray.

7- Professionals

If your home is infested with moths and they keep coming back, you will need to hire a professional exterminator to rid your home.

The cost may be higher, but if the moths are eating your expensive clothing and you’ve been unable to get rid of them, it’s your other option.

The Conclusion

If you find moths living in your closet and damaging your sweaters, there are limited options for getting rid of them.

But if you can prevent them in the first place from entering your wardrobe, your clothing can be pretty safe.

Regular cleaning of your closet should be performed, making sure no clothes are lying on the ground, and that there are no signs of damage to clothing.

If you see any signs of moths in your closet, you will need to wash everything to eliminate moths as quickly as possible.

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