There are several different species of moths in Denmark. The ones that cause the most damage to clothes, textiles and foods are; brown house moths, flour moths, clothes moths and single-spotted clothes moths. Here, you can read a general description of the different insects, how they live, where you will typically find them, and how moth control is best carried out.

5 quick questions about moths

What do moths look like?

In Denmark, the most common types of moth are the clothes moth and the brown house moth.

How do you get rid of moths?

The extent to which you can get rid of them depends on how thoroughly you tidy up, sort out and clean the contents of your house.

Where do moths come from?

A fully grown moth can fly. This means that they can cover long distances. Often you will find that moths migrate from unit to unit in storage facilities.

How big are moth larvae?

Moth larvae can be between 5 – 10 mm in length, depending on the species.

How do you eradicate moths?

It is important to clean your house thoroughly. What you need to get rid of are the moth larvae, as it is these that gnaw holes in your textiles. Then, you need to buy an insecticide that is designed to kill moths. Repeat the treatment multiple times. Try freezing clothes and textiles for up to 5 days. This will kill the larvae. Glue traps may also be effective.

Moth species

There are a number of different species of moths in Denmark. Below, you can read a short description of the 4 most common ones. If you wish to read more about the individual species, click onto our guide on pests. Here you will find more detailed material that also includes information on white-shouldered house moths, almond moths and the Indian-meal moth.

Brown house moth

The beautiful, bronze-coloured brown house moth is the largest of our Danish species of moth. It can grow up to 1.5 cm in length, and can lay approx. 500-600 eggs in its ideal environment.

The brown house moth prefers granary and seeds, where the moth larvae can find plenty of food. The problem with brown house moths is that they also attack cotton; in other words, textiles. Read more in-depth information on brown house moths.

Flour moth

By the end of the 19th century, trade routes were responsible for transferring the flour moth to Europe. Thus, the way was paved for the flour moth to establish a foothold in Denmark as well. With a length of up to 7-9 mm, it is not nearly as large as other species, and its light, white-greyish colour is a unique characteristic.

The female flour moth can lay up to 200 eggs just two hours after emerging from the pupae. The flour moth larvae can grow to a length of up to 19 mm and they normally attack places with stored grain products, such as bakeries, factories and warehouses. Flour moths are difficult to control, and a thorough strategy is needed in order to rid of them. Read more in-depth information on flour moths.

Clothes moth

The golden clothes moth is NOT usually found in Denmark. The moth immigrated at the end of the 18th century, when the modern heating systems of that age, created optimal living conditions indoors.

Today, it is an extremely rare guest, as today´s indoor environments do not usually feature high humidity in our homes. The clothes moth is a pest that ruins textiles, but since more synthetic materials have been used for clothing over the past 20-30 years, it has been on the decline. Read more in-depth information about the clothes moth.

Single-spotted clothes moth

The single-spotted clothes moth is regarded by biologists as the “original” Danish species. It can live outdoors, and in nature, will typically be found in birds’ nests where the larvae feed on the nest, down and feathers.

The single-spotted clothes moth needs an environment with high humidity and, if living conditions are ideal, it can lay up to 150 eggs, 4 times a year; normally if it has managed to find its way inside. The larvae grow to a length of 10 mm and, unlike the clothes moth larvae, they make more consistent holes. Depending on the climate, it can take anything from 1 to 12 months for an egg to hatch, and until the adult single-spotted clothes moth is ready to lay eggs again. Read more in-depth information about the single-spotted clothes moth.

Moths in foods

There are two species of moths that cause damage to food – the Indian-meal moth and the flour moth. Both of these species attack granary, cereals, dried fruits, almonds and nuts in the kitchen.

The winter is soon over, so now you can look forward to arriving at your holiday home and checking the furniture for moths. But avoid all that by getting rid of them long before that.

These two moth species lay between 200 and 400 eggs; normally directly in the food. Then, the newly hatched larvae enter the food. You can also find the eggs in cracks and crevices.

Moths in clothes and textiles

Keratin is the nutrient that moths live off and it is found in materials such as wool. Moths also love fur and feathers, since both contain keratin. Moths are often seen flying freely around the house, and can often be found in musty, closed-off rooms since this allows them to breed and lay their eggs in peace.

The majority of the eggs are extremely fragile, and will die once you vacuum or wash your clothes. If you have noticed moths in your carpets, start off by giving it a good beating. The moth eggs will not survive. If you have moths in furniture textiles, you can again simply start by beating them. When moths and moth larvae get into textiles, they eat it from the inside out and lay their eggs as deep inside the textile as possible.

Where moths thrive in your home

Are you the owner of a holiday home? Or do you have an attic, a cellar or perhaps a small closed-off room with dimmed lights? Then you need to watch out for moths.

The moth itself does not need darkness to survive. However, its larvae thrive best in the dark. If your clothes have been stored in a commercial storage unit, the chances are you will find moth larvae in them. A commercial storage unit is like heaven for moths, as lots of different people bring in a variety of textiles and clothes from many different places.

When many people share the same space, the likelihood that some of the clothes will contain moths increases. And once moths have established themselves in the storage unit, they will lay eggs anywhere in the clothes that is not sufficiently sealed. If you are storing furs or items with fur, moths will try to lay its eggs as close to the pelt as possible. The eggs take a few days to hatch, and then begin eating their way into it right away.

What do moths eat?

The larvae are the ones that do the damage. As previously mentioned, they begin eating as soon as they have hatched.

One moth can easily lay enough eggs to eat almost an entire fur coat. The moth larvae can also bite off strands of hair by their roots. This means that indirectly it is the moths that can are the reason why the fur comes away in your hand when you grab your jacket, thus ruining a perfectly good item of clothing. This is one of the reasons why you need to make sure that your insurance policy covers damage caused by moths and other pests in general, if you own expensive fur coats.

Sensible storage is the Alpha and Omega when it comes to making life hard for moths. Moth larvae will bite right through the clothing fibres, creating holes in your clothes if they are made from woven textiles. The moth species and their larvae are slightly dissimilar in the larva stages, but the main problem is that both types of moth larvae bite through clothing fibres.

Moth control

impossible for the private individual to fight moths, since you cannot buy an insecticide with long-term effects. Effective moth control requires experience and, as a rule, the smartest thing to do is to contact a pest control service to eradicate your moth problem.

You need to allow for 2-3 treatments at intervals of 14 days.

Absolut Skadedyrsservice has the necessary professional expertise needed to perform pest control on moths and pests in general.

Contact us for guidance and a quotation for moth control.

All products we use are approved by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and they are odourless, you so you can be back in your home just 10 minutes after the treatment has been carried out.

Moths can also be eradicated with something as simple as a flyswatter. Often, you´ll know you have moths because you´ll discover holes in your clothing or you´ll see them flutter around the house.

In the case of the latter, it´s just a case of grabbing a flyswatter and hunting them down. Once you´ve got rid of those, you need to tackle the larvae; because where there are moths, there are most certainly larvae.

You can buy liquid remedies for moths and their larvae. These can be applied to surfaces in cupboards and on upholstery fabrics etc.

There are also sprays you can use against moths. These are also effective against flying moths.

If you wish to get rid of any moths in your clothes, try freezing your clothes and blankets. The cold from the freezer will kill off both the moths and their larvae. However, they need to be frozen for at least two days or more at a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius minimum. This is also why a cold winter with harsh, frosty weather is the moth’s worst nightmare. If you know a nice cold night is on the way, put your furniture and carpets outside overnight. Bring everything back inside during the day. Repeat the procedure the next night. This contrast between the heat and the cold will kill both the moths and larvae.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW ABOUT MOTHS

• There are two species of moths in Denmark; clothes moths and single-spotted clothes moths
• Moths thrive in commercial storage units
• Larvae from moths eat keratin, which is found in things such as wool
• Fight moths with frost or liquid moth remedies

Professional pest control against moths

Do you problems with moths? Then why not call us and hear more about the pest control options we offer. If you´ve already noticed them in your home or holiday home, you need to do something about it now. For your own sake. Remember to check second-hand clothes for moths, eggs and larvae, so you don´t bring any unwanted guests into your home.

We can help. Our remedies are extremely effective, but are not harmful to people or the environment. You can call us via phone or Skype any day of the week to arrange moth control.

Absolut Skadedyrsservice has been eradicating moths effectively and professionally since 1985, and, today, we have 6 professional employees who carry out moth control in Copenhagen and Herlev and the surrounding area.

We hope you´ll never need our services, but if you do, we´re ready to help with effective moth control, so you´ll never find moths in your clothes again.

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