With Summer nearly in full swing, a passion for cashmere can result in uninvited guests making a regular appearance in your wardrobe! Moth season is here and they are notorious little creatures for feeding on fabrics favouring natural fibres such as wool, silk, cotton and cashmere. It’s the larvae, not the moths, that are responsible for the damage. Clothes moths have a life cycle of between 65 and 90 days, during which time they can lay around 50 eggs. They live in silken tubes, leaving trails resembling cobwebs as they burrow into piles of fabric. The moth larvae feed on a protein called ‘ceratin’. It occurs in natural fibres, and it’s that protein they look for.
Here is our guide to protecting your most prized items of clothing
Clean Clean Clean
Deter them by emptying your wardrobe and washing everything. If something can’t be washed, get it dry-cleaned. Clean out the inside of your wardrobe, too. Take everything out, vacuum and wipe the insides. Moths lay most eggs in the carpet so destroy them at the source by moving furniture and hoovering in all crevices.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Stuart Hine an insect expert at the Natural History Museum said: “Vacuum cleaners are moths’ worst enemies. They don’t like disturbance, so open up your cupboards once a month and shake everything out. Do the same with carpets – move furniture and clean under wardrobes and tables.”
Seal your clothes tightly
When packing away your favourite cashmere items, make sure clothes are properly sealed in either a plastic cover or suitcase.
Avoid storing clothing in attic
Don’t store clothes in the loft, attic or dark cupboard as they love to remain cosy and undisturbed in the darkest corners of your home, ideally at a temperature of 20°C with them thriving in warm, dark conditions!
Turn off heating when possible
Even if temperatures turn cold, the threat of moths is still in Britons homes, with central heating elongating the moth’s mating season. Turn off radiators in empty rooms and open windows to allow in fresh air, all deterrents to the mating process of mature moths.
And.. for some natural remedies
Conkers and Cloves
Plants produce harmful chemicals and unappealing smells to stop insects eating them and their seeds. Conkers have one of the strongest moth-repelling aromas. As conkers dry out a gas is emitted which works as a mild insecticide, killing moths and larvae. Conkers must be fresh; so put new ones in your drawers every few weeks. Other less strong but decent repellents include eucalyptus, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks.
The problem with conkers, bay leaves and cloves is that they can leave musky smells. Lavender however, thanks to its strong but lovely smell, is a very good deterrent. Ideally, put a bag of lavender on every hanger and a couple in every drawer. If that’s too much hassle, sprinkling lavender into a tray at the bottom of your wardrobe works, too.
View our new tunic tops in 100% cashmere, the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe.