Fabric Pests: How To Identify And Get Rid Of A Variety Of These Creepy, Common Bugs

You've been waiting all year to slip into your favorite comfy wool sweater when all of the sudden, you notice a few holes and other damage that wasn't there last year. As you keep digging through the closet, you notice a lot of your clothing is irreparably damaged. Unfortunately, you have fallen victim to fabric pests, a term that refers to a variety of insects that enjoy dining on your favorite garments. Here are a few tips to help you identify a few of the most common varieties of fabric pests and how to keep them out of your closets:

Common Types of Fabric Pests

There are a variety of fabric pests that will make themselves at home in your closets, dressers and throughout your house. Depending on where you live in the United States, here are a few different types of fabric pests you might encounter:

  • Clothes moths – One of the most common types of fabric pests, clothes moths are small, nude colored and feature wings covered with small hairs. Typically, clothes moths will feed on wool, silk, feathers and even human hair, which can often be found on your clothing. Clothing moths will also dine on your pet's dry food. These tiny pests can be tricky to locate because they prefer dark places, such as your dresser drawers or the back of your closet.
  • Carpet beetles – Another common fabric pest, carpet beetles come in a variety of colors, including black, yellow, orange and brown. Adult carpet beetles will not feed on the fabrics in your home. Instead, their larvae, which are wormlike and covered in bristles, are the ones who will devour several types of fabric in your home.
  • Hide beetles – Finally, another type of fabric pest that is rarer, hide beetles will make their way into your home and feed on anything from leather and taxidermy fish to feathers and bacon. These beetles are shaped like cigars, are brown and black in color and covered in tiny hairs.

In addition to the above-mentioned insects, there are several different common pests that can wreak havoc on both the fabric and foods in your home, including cockroaches, silverfish and even crickets.

Getting Rid of Fabric Pests

Now that you've identified the types of fabric pests that are wreaking havoc throughout your home, it's time to get them out of your house once and for all. Here are a few steps you need to take to eliminate your fabric pest infestation:

  • Identify the sources of food – First and foremost, it's important to learn where the highest concentrations of fabric pests are found. For instance, if you are dealing with hide beetles, you might notice them more in your closet, rather than your dresser drawers. In addition to examining your closets and dressers, also check your carpets, drapes and pantry.
  • Pull out your vacuum – Next, pull out your vacuum and clean off as many surfaces, including pieces of clothing as you can. This includes the walls of your closets, inside your dresser drawers and your drapes. Empty your vacuum canister or throw out the bags in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Treating your affected items – Once you have identified the affected pieces of clothing, you have two options: toss or treat them. If the clothing is extremely damaged, consider throwing it away in an outdoor garbage can. Otherwise, Apartment Therapy recommends sticking affected items inside a zippered plastic bag before putting them in a freezer for at least 24 hours. Afterwards, simply pull out the clothing and put it in the washer.
  • Working with a professional – Finally, if your fabric pest infestation is severe, or you simply can't seem to get rid of the insects, it's time to call a professional. A professional exterminator will have the tools and chemicals necessary to get rid of your fabric pests.

Fabric pests are a problem across the United States, and these tricky insects are often hard to eliminate. If you suspect you have fabric pests, it's vital to work quickly to ensure they don't continue destroying your clothing. For more information, contact a business such as Ace Walco & Sons Termite & Pest Control.